Possible prison time for Kamloops woman who stole thousands from her company

Crown wants Maegan Viger to spend three months behind bars; defence asks for conditional discharge

  • Nov. 20, 2018 2:01 p.m.

—Kamloops this Week

A Kamloops woman who stole nearly $17,000 from her employer could spend three months in prison.

Maegan Viger pleaded guilty in B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops on Tuesday to one count of theft over $5,000.

During a three-year-period beginning in December 2013, Viger stole $16,872 from her company — approximately half of it by way of fraudulent credit card purchases and the rest by inflating her own wage in payroll.

Crown prosecutor Laura Drake said some of Viger’s fraudulent credit card purchases could have been disguised as office spending, but others were more flagrant.

RELATED: Racists graffiti on Kamloops bathroom walls

“There was gas for her personal vehicle, various gift cards at places like Starbucks, small charges at Tim Hortons in the morning, when it might be breakfast or a coffee on the way to work, dry cleaning and, occasionally, larger-scale purchases — $300 or $400 — at Mountain Equipment Co-op or Cleo clothing store, for example,” Drake said.

Court heard Viger also began intermittently inflating her own wage by as much as $2 an hour.

“Some months she’d up it slightly, then it would go back down to the agreed-upon rate,” Drake said. “Over the course of four years, this ended up an overpayment, between regular wage and vacation pay, of $8,333.”

Drake asked B.C. Supreme Court Justice Sheri Donegan to impose a jail sentence of 90 days to send a message to other employees that such behaviour will not be tolerated.

“It can be very easy to do what Ms. Viger did and it can be very tempting,” Drake said.

“Sending a message to other people that the courts take this very seriously — and, often, that means going to jail — is of paramount importance.”

RELATED: Kelowna Mounties investigate shot fired in downtown-area home

Drake urged Donegan to consider the fact Viger abused a position of trust.

“Employers’ trust in their employees is what allows commerce to operate in this country,” she said. “It is this trust Ms. Viger violated.”

Court heard Viger repaid the credit card expenses as part of a small claims settlement and that she intends to pay back the remainder as soon as next month.

Defence lawyer Brad Smith pitched a conditional discharge for Viger, meaning she would not have a criminal record following a period of probation.

“Yes, I realize that would be an exceptional result,” he told Donegan. “But, in the circumstances, it is an appropriate outcome.”

Smith said Viger was at a breaking point when she stole from her company.

“The long and the short of it is, Ms. Viger found herself in a toxic work environment where she was bullied for a number of years,” he said. “That caused her significant emotional and mental stress.”

Viger has no previous criminal record. Smith argued a conviction could affect her when looking for work in the future.

Drake said it should.

“Future employers have a right to at least know this has happened,” she said. “That decision should not be left up to her by her not having a criminal record.”

It is not yet known when Donegan will deliver a sentence.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon Arm beats Vernon in BCHL video final

Silverbacks to meet Cowichan Valley Capitals in league’s simulated video Fred Page Cup final

Coldstream’s Korol top UBCO graduating female athlete

Jordan Korol goes out as one of the all-time best to wear a Heat uniform

Vernon nordic centre loses out on 2021 nationals

Sovereign Lake was to host 2020 Canadian championships, canceled due to COVID-19

COVID-19: More infected passengers on planes flying to and from Okanagan and Kamloops airports

The BC Centre of Disease Control has identified numerous flights with COVID-19 cases

COVID-19: North Okanagan spring leagues wiped out

Ladies softball, indoor and beach volleyball leagues shut down over pandemic

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Mitchell’s Musings: Pandemics and parking meters don’t add up

Despite COVID-19 crisis, City of Vernon insists on paid parking downtown

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

Most Read