June 24th, 2024

U of L clerk accused of stealing $580,000 has case adjourned until next month


By Delon Shurtz on June 30, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A former University of Lethbridge accounting clerk accused of stealing more than half a million dollars from the university, has adjourned her court matters until next month.
Donna Court had her charges adjourned Tuesday at the Case Management Office in the Lethbridge Courthouse, where individuals accused of certain offences can initially address their matters without appearing before a judge. The case is scheduled to return to an actual courtroom on July 13, however, when her lawyer will likely appear remotely by WEBEX on her behalf.
Court, 57, was charged last April with fraud over $5,000, theft over $5,000 and possession of stolen property over $5,000, following a police investigation that began in 2018. The university contacted police after detecting a potential fraud through their internal processes, and investigators with the Economic Crimes Unit of the Lethbridge Police Service determined an employee had used her position at the university to falsify records and conceal the theft of more than $500,000.
“In March 2018, University of Lethbridge employees discovered a fraud perpetrated by a fellow employee,” the university said in a statement following Court’s arrest.
The statement said an employee with more than 30 years of experience at the University, “abused her detailed knowledge of the financial systems of the U of L and falsified records to conceal the estimated theft of $580,000.”
Court was fired when the alleged fraud and theft were discovered.
The statement also noted that the U of L recovered most of the missing funds from its insurer.

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