St. Bon's former accountant was sentenced to 3 years for $ 500K fraud

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A former accountant at St. Bonaventure's College was sentenced to three years in prison on multiple charges for defrauding his then-employer of over $ 500,000 over a period of nearly five years.

Kimberly Stagg, 33, pleaded guilty to fraud at St. John's Provincial Court in June.

Stagg apologized in court for his actions and for the people he injured. He said he loved the St. Bon community and thought of them as a family.

Stagg said he does not see the time to "become a person who contributes again to society".

Crown and Stagg's defense attorney suggested in a joint communication that a three-year sentence would be appropriate. Stagg's attorney emphasized the fact that the woman, who has two children, has no criminal record and was a cooperative.

State of facts

Stagg falsified bank statements and sent money transfers to him via e-mail, according to a statement read by the Crown in a conviction hearing on Wednesday. He used the money to pay the bills and take a trip to Disney.

The police learned that Stagg had more bank accounts and that $ 548.909 was transferred to his bank accounts by the accounts of San Bonaventura – where he was the only person with access.

St. Bonaventure's College sacked Kim Stagg in 2018. (Sherry Vivian / CBC)

The fraud "put the school on its knees", declared the Crown attorney at the hearing. Given the false documents and made 341 transactions, Crown stated that it would like a three-year sentence for Stagg, along with a full refund of the money withdrawn from the school.

"The impact (on the school) was astronomical," Crown lawyer Erin Matthews said.

"No dependency problems. All the money went into supporting a lifestyle that he could not afford."

A three-year sentence would be appropriate, said Matthews, but not "crush".

Additional charges

Stagg was fired from St. John's school in March 2018 and charged a year later with 10 charges including fraud, breach of trust and forgery and use of a forged document.

Fraud and breach of fiduciary charges range from November 2013 to March 2018 and falsification allegations refer to monthly statements of the school, according to court documents.

San Bonaventura stated in a statement on Wednesday that procedures are in place to ensure that fraud of this kind can no longer occur and that the school is moving forward.

"This problem has put a strain on our school community," said Nancy Healey, chairman of the council. "Trust was broken and it took time to repair it."

The school has recovered some of the financial loss and further steps have been taken for further recovery, Healey said.

The history of San Bonaventura dates back to 1856. After its closure in 1998 with the end of the confessional education in Terranova and Labrador, it reopened the following year as an independent school with kindergarten students until the 12th year .

Read more from CBC Terranova and Labrador

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