Calgary (September 24, 2019) – Gambling addicted former bookkeeper, Colleen Fay Dhuga, has been sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for defrauding her former employer David Anderson out of almost $1.2 million over 6 years. After Dhuga pleaded guilty in February, the joint sentencing by the defense and the crown was accepted by the provincial judge.
Provincial court Judge Anne Brown accepted the joint sentencing for Colleen Fay Dhuga. The former bookkeeper from Calgary was charged with fraud over $5,000 in 2018 and pleaded guilty in February earlier this year. The consolidated proposal of the crown prosecutor Steven Johnston and the defense counsel Peter Hoare includes 3.5 years in prison. Additionally, Judge Brown ordered that she has to pay back her former employer, David Anderson, $1,190,275.01 compensation for the conducted embezzlement.
50-year-old Dhuga was working as a controller for four companies owned by Anderson, including Winsome Capital Inc., EmberClear Inc., Winsome Oil Marketing, and Immersive Media Corp. Between June 12, 2008, and March 1, 2014, she conducted an embezzlement scheme worth $1.2 million to fund her gambling addiction.
In this time period, she forged nearly 200 cheques using a stamp with Anderson’s signature and directed about 500 unauthorized withdrawals from company credit cards. She spent the money at casinos, traveling, dining and other personal expenses. In March 2014, the corporations’ bank noticed unusual activity on the accounts resulting in the discovery of Dhuga’s scheme.
The Calgary woman showed regret and confessed already in 2014 when she was confronted by the police. The Calgary Herald reported, after she was charged, she pleaded guilty to avoid causing further pain to her former employer, according to her defense counsel Hoare.