December 5th, 2020

Woman pleads guilty to fraud


By Delon Shurtz on November 20, 2020.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A woman accused of defrauding her employer of more than $47,000 in cash and property has pleaded guilty to single charge of fraud over $5,000 and will return in the new year to be sentenced.
Melanie Dawn Vaillancourt, a former employee of King of Trade in downtown Lethbridge, was charged with fraud over $5,000, theft under $5,000, falsification of documents, possession of the proceeds of crime over $5,000 and possession of the proceeds of crime under $5,000. However, during a brief hearing Thursday in Lethbridge provincial court her lawyer pleaded guilty on her behalf to the single charge of fraud.
Although facts relating to the charge were not read in court, police reported last year that they investigated alleged fraudulent activity at the King of Trade after inventory discrepancies were identified by staff.ĂŠVideo surveillance was reviewed and a woman was subsequently observed stealing property and cash from the till on numerous occasions.
Police said the employee is accused of stealing money from the till and subsequently falsifying inventory and store records in an effort to hide the activity. The alleged crimes occurred between April 2017 and December 2018, police confirmed.
During Thursday’s court hearing the judge ordered a pre-sentence report and the matter was adjourned to February 2021 to set a date for sentencing.

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