Saskatoon

Saskatoon nurse pleads guilty of defrauding Sask. Union of Nurses local of $20,000

A registered nurse at Saskatoon's Parkridge Centre has pleaded guilty to one count of fraud, after stealing $20,000 from her union local over the span of more than four years.

Lorraine Wilson, 58, to repay stolen money and a fine of $2,340

A registered nurse at Saskatoon's Parkridge Centre has pleaded guilty to one count of fraud after stealing $20,000 from her union local over the span of more than four years. (Trevor Bothorel/CBC)

A registered nurse at Saskatoon's Parkridge Centre has pleaded guilty to one count of fraud after stealing $20,000 from her union local over the span of more than four years.

Lorraine Wilson, 58, stood up in the Saskatoon provincial court on Tuesday and apologized for her actions, after hearing from colleagues who said the theft poisoned their work environment.

"I just wanted to say that I realise my actions hurt a lot of people and have done a lot of harm and I'm completely sorry," Wilson said.

She was the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses local president for Parkridge Centre, a long-term care home in Saskatoon, during the time of the thefts.

One of her colleagues, Stacey Moore, became interested in volunteering with the union, and eventually asked Wilson for the union local's financial documents.

Investigation

When Wilson didn't turn them over, Moore decided to run for president of the union local. After looking at the union's finances, she realized something was wrong and called Saskatoon police and the provincial union, which hired an auditor to take a closer look.

Eventually, it was discovered that Wilson stole $20,000 from the union between January 2015 and September 2019. She was writing herself cheques and forged the signature of the union local vice-president.

She was arrested and charged by Saskatoon police in March.

Wilson later confessed that she was a gambling addict and much of the money was used for that purpose.

In a victim impact statement, Moore said that the theft and ensuing investigation was very hard on her co-workers. She said many nurses who were investigated have since quit their jobs at Parkridge, or left the profession entirely.

"I feel so betrayed by you," Moore said. "I hope this stays with you."

Joint submission

The Crown and defence both issued a joint sentencing agreement, asking that Wilson immediately pay back the missing $20,000 and pay a total fine and victim impact surcharge of $2,340.

Wilson will be under a prohibition order to neither volunteer nor work at any activity that would put her in a position of financial authority over others for five years.

She's also under a one-year probation period where she has to regularly report to a probation officer and keep the peace.

During the sentencing, Judge Monar Enweani asked the Crown prosecutor why he was not seeking a jail sentence in this case. 

Darren Howarth said the Crown took into account Wilson's age and her lack of a previous criminal record.

He also noted that Wilson pleaded guilty early on in the court process and saved many people from testifying.

The Crown stayed two additional charges of theft over $5,000 and using a forged document.

Wilson will have 30 days to pay the victim impact surcharge of $540 and a year to pay the fine of $1,800.

now