June 15th, 2024

Case against woman accused of theft still waiting to move ahead

By Delon Shurtz on July 14, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

The lawyer for a former University of Lethbridge accounting clerk accused of stealing more than half a million dollars from the school, is unable to move ahead with the case because he is still waiting for more disclosure from the Crown’s office, a judge was told Tuesday.
An agent for the defence appeared in Lethbridge provincial court Tuesday and said Calgary lawyer Rabie Ahmed has only received about 60 pages of disclosure from the Crown, but is expecting considerably more information stemming from the lengthy police investigation.
The agent, who asked how long it would take for the Crown to send the “proper disclosure,” was told Specialized Prosecutions out of Calgary is handling the case, and defence would need to contact the prosecutor from that office.
The matter is scheduled to return to court Aug. 31.
Donna 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 its 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, allegedly “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 after the alleged fraud and theft were discovered.

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