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8 months house arrest for former minor hockey volunteer guilty of fraud

A former Corner Brook volunteer was given an eight-month suspended house arrest for stealing thousands of dollars from the area’s minor hockey association.

Melissa Williams, 48, received the sentence in provincial court Thursday morning.

Six charges were brought against Williams in January 2020 after the association noticed missing money and unpaid bills, including one for ice time at the city-run civic center, totaling more than $75,000.

Following the discovery of the missing money, the association reduced its expenses and did additional fundraising. In September 2020, the association repaid $75,000 to the city and started the season debt-free.

Earlier this year, Williams was due to stand trial on six counts, but changed her guilty plea to charges of theft over $5,000 and unlawful use of a credit card, admitting to taking 12 $012.38. According to an agreed statement of facts, Williams repaid $4,500 and must pay the rest over the next three years. The remaining four charges were dropped.

A restitution statement provided by the Crown said the association was missing $149,853.09, including payroll funds, electronic transfer payments and missing cash and other funds, but Judge Kymill Howe ruled. said that since detailed details of the missing money had not been provided to the court, she could not factor it into Williams’ sentence.

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