Penticton woman faces sentencing in $65,000 fraud | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton woman faces sentencing in $65,000 fraud

Judith Lynn Kendrick will find out her fate tomorrow, Jan. 15, 2018, following sentencing for fraud charges after being convicted of stealing $65,000 from her employer between 2014 and 2016.

PENTICTON - A Penticton bookkeeper who ripped off her employer for more than a year will find out her fate tomorrow.

Judith Lynn Kendrick appeared in Penticton court this afternoon, Jan. 15, facing a charge of fraud following a 13 month period in which she stole $65,000 while working as a bookkeeper for a Penticton businessman.

Kendrick transferred the money directly from her employer to her own accounts in a series of 120 separate transactions over the 13 month period, which began shortly after she started work with the victim in 2014.

Crown Prosecutor Ann Lerchs told court the crime came to light in March 2016 when Kendrick’s employer went to police after receiving a confession letter from Kendricks, promising to pay the money back.

A full accounting of the mishandled money was provided to police later in March.

A civil suit filed against Kendrick resulted in a judgement against her totalling $140,000.

Kendrick has one previous criminal conviction from an unrelated matter, Lerchs told court.

She said the victim revealed he suffered sleepless night, distrust of people and financial loss because of the fraud. He lost a home in Summerland and had to cash in a life insurance policy.

A pre-sentence report noted Kendrick’s willingness to comply and accept responsibility for the fraud, but a psychological report failed to explain why she took the money. It did say she was dealing with depression at the time, however.

Lerchs recommended a jail term of six months for the crime.

Defence lawyer James Pennington told court authorities had little work to do in making the case for Kendrick.

“To say she cooperated is an understatement,” he said, adding rehabilitation was the real issue in this case.

Calling the fraud a “completely unsophisticated scheme involving straight transfers of money," Pennington argued his client readily admitted to the crime and fully intended to repay the money. He said Kendrick was not likely to re-offend again, and would probably not find work in an accountant’s position again.

He said his client paid a “heavy price” for the crime, and now has nothing left - no family and no employment.

He urged Judge Gale Sinclair to consider a three-year suspended sentence, adding if a jail term was necessary for his 58-year-old client, she should be allowed to serve it on weekends intermittently. 

Judge Sinclair is expected to render a decision on the matter tomorrow, Jan. 16.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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