Steven Sokolowski, the 67-year-old who pleaded guilty to fraud in January for defrauding a Toronto cancer charity $400,000, has been sentenced to 14 months in jail.
Sokolowski has paid back the money he took from Coast to Coast Against Cancer. Sokolowski was one of the founders of the charity, a registered Toronto foundation that has raised tens of millions of dollars to support childhood cancer charities and hosts several cycling and other activities every year.
Between January 2012 and August 2014, Sokolowski stole $400,000 from the charity by filing fraudulent invoices for services never provided or expenses for personal matters. The fraud was discovered through a routine audit.
“It is not just (the charity) that has suffered from Mr. Sokolowski’s crime but every child that might otherwise have been the beneficiary of the large sum of money diverted,” said Ontario Court Justice Katrina Mulligan in her sentencing decision.
The impact on charitable donors who will now be even more wary is also significant, she said.
“Every charity loses because of his actions,” Mulligan said, adding that this was a well-planned deception that relied on Sokolowski’s inside knowledge and position of trust in the charity, she said.
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