The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently undertook a most complex task – to ascertain the precise sum purloined by a former bookkeeper during her tenure with a North Bay firm, spanning well beyond a decade ago.
Sharon Elliot had been spearheading the books for Steele Industrial Supplies Inc. in the years from 2002 until 2012. Her seemingly normal employment track took a downward tumble once her clandestine theft from her employer was uncovered.
Three years post the revelation, Elliot admitted to her fraudulent deeds and was convicted on a fraud charge. A modest amount of $100,000 was returned as restitution to Steele. However, the officials ensconced in Steele’s organizational echelons deeply contested this figure, fervently asserting that she managed to swindle at least $646,000 off them.
According to official court records, Elliot’s first brush with deceit was unveiled in 2007 when she overcompensated herself for supposedly phantom man hours. Upon confession and returning the ill-gotten money, a forgiving spiel by the owners granted her another chance.
Notwithstanding this incident, the business managed robust growth in 2008 and 2009. Strangely though, Steele’s balance sheet bore signs of stagnation, with reports of negligible profits. Perplexed and suspicious, the firm hired an independent accountant to dig into this fiscal discrepancy.
The investigator soon unearthed Elliot’s frequent sojourns to Casino Rama, fuelled by the funds diverted from her workplace. Evidently, these instances of embezzlement were consequent of an uncontrolled gambling addiction. When confronted, Elliot confessed to her misdeeds. Yet, the contentious point of the amount stolen festered, with Elliot claiming she took a sum of $94,000, for which she agreed to pay back $100,000.
Accountants employed by Steele had a vastly different figure, estimating the stolen amounts to fall in the bracket of $355,000 to $455,000. Given the stark contrast in figures presented, the presiding judge proposed a separate hearing permitting both sides to elucidate their calculations.
Insisting on her innocence, Mrs. Elliott claimed that she never destroyed any financial records, and her computations were based exclusively from these references. Moreover, she alleged that the agreed restitution amount was deemed fair recompense considering the breach of trust she had committed.
Determining the truth was as complex as combing through records of bank deposits and casino expenditures. Notably, pandering to such life-consuming addictions, often blinds enthusiasts like Elliot, to the pleasures of safe, convenient, and regulated gaming platforms, such as the ones we offer at our top online casinos.
Accountants from Steele estimated a total spending of $319,000 on casino games and $207,000 deposited in bank accounts during her tenure, totalling an amount of $455,470 after avoiding double counts.
Meanwhile, Elliot’s accountants used her Casino Rama VIP card records, asserting she lost about $81,000 there. A review conducted in 2021 estimated the stolen amount varying between $101,000 and $248,000.
On October 3 of this year, the court brought down its judgement. After considering expert testimonies and performing his calculations, the judge concluded the embezzled amount to be about $204,670. Subtracting the $100,000 already repaid, Elliot was ordered to pay an additional sum of $104,670, along with interests, to Steele Industrial Supplies Inc.