Updated: Red Deer man who stole from air cadets sentenced to 10 months’ prison

Dave Gillard was also ordered to pay restitution

Man jailed for embezzlement

A Red Deer man who embezzled at least $35,000 from a local air cadet squadron was sentenced to 10 months in prison Thursday.

Red Deer provincial court Judge Jim Glass also ordered Dave Gillard, 46, who had previously pleaded guilty to theft over $5,000, to pay $35,000 in restitution to 24 Squadron Air Cadets.

Gillard was volunteer treasurer for the squadron sponsoring committee when he began stealing money in 2015 and continued until the thefts were discovered in March 2016.

He wrote cheques to himself, signed them and faked a second signature. The scam only came to light when a cheque was returned because of insufficient funds in the squadron’s account.

It was initially estimated up to $100,000 was taken but only $35,000 could be proved.

Crown prosecutor Ed Ring asked for a 10- to 12- month sentence along with 18 months’ probation.

Ring said it was aggravating he stole from a non-profit organization and as bookkeeper was in the “greatest position of trust one could be in.”

Defence lawyer Jason Snider said the married father of two stole the money to help support his family after getting into financial difficulty.

After being charged, he lost his job and had to take work in Edmonton. He has been making arrangements to take out a loan to pay the money back.

Snider asked for a sentence of six to nine months in prison.

Before sentencing, Gillard apologized to the court and the squadron.

“What I have done is despicable, and I accept full responsibility for it,” he said.

Glass said because of the thefts, 60 cadets missed out on activities they were looking forward to.

Gillard’s scheme took some planning and was not a “spur of the moment” kind of offence, he said.

A charge related to forged documents was withdrawn.

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