Woman sentenced to house arrest for scam

A former veterinarian clinic worker who defrauded the business of about $18,000 was given a community-based sentence Wednesday.

A former veterinarian clinic worker who defrauded the business of about $18,000 was given a community-based sentence Wednesday.

Jade Rachelle Rogers, 34, who now lives in Melfort, Sask., pleaded guilty to a single charge of fraud valued at more than $5,000 when she appeared in Red Deer provincial court.

Rogers was sentenced to a year in jail to be served in the community.

She will spend the first six months under house arrest, followed by a nightly curfew for six months, Judge Bert Skinner ruled.

Rogers must also perform 100 hours of community service.

Crown prosecutor Tony Bell, who argued the 12 months should be served in jail, said Rogers was a clinical care specialist at the Cedarwood Veterinary Hospital for six years before the crime was discovered in April 2008.

Bell said Rogers learned about the accounting procedures at the business and took the money over a period of time.

Police started their investigation in October 2008 when a person appeared to be altering documents and taking money from the clinic.

Police said earlier that Rogers appeared to create false invoices to reflect funds for services rendered and products purchased.

Ken Hubbard, a hospital principal and doctor with the veterinary business told court, a veterinary clinic relies heavily on the trust of its clients to care for their pets and that trust was weakened by Rogers.

Skinner said when an employee breaks a trust, it “puts all the staff under a microscope.”

Defence lawyer Will Willms argued for the community sentence saying his client had no criminal record and already has paid about $5,500 in restitution. Willms said he had the remainder of the money in his trust account for the business.

He said his client doesn’t gamble or have a substance abuse problem.

“There’s no good explanation for her involvement. She got involved and found it hard to retreat,” Willms said.

He also said Rogers takes care of her ailing grandmother and has two teenage girls at home.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com