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.

Just Posted

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: mix of sun and clouds

Environment Canada is calling for a chance of rain and risk of thunderstorms across the Okanagan tonight

Vernon bylaw officer best in B.C.

Al Harrison named Bylaw Officer of the Year at annual association conference

Vernon council waits on fence as report prepared

Council to get information on cost of erecting fence for off-leash dog area at Marshall Field

Vernon Transit enjoys stellar year

Ridership up over tier average, says BC Transit representative

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

Companies need clearer rules on workplace relationships, study suggests

One-third of Canadians have been in love at work, and half say no policy on the matter exists

B.C. premier says Greyhound replacement news could come shortly

Province is working with the private sector to find a solution, says premier

Peachland residents worry about lug-nut thief

Several Facebook users agreed that someone is tampering with their cars

Man accused of assault at South Okanagan beach gets bail

Thomas Brayden Kruger-Allen was granted bail at the Penticton provincial courthouse on Monday

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Most Read