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Monday afternoon, she changed her plea to guilty. Crown Counsel is seeking a sentence of three years in prison with full retribution, while Defence wishes for two years without retribution. In total, Kelly stole $156,632.32 from the two companies.
Kelly was the treasurer for the non-profit Slow Pitch Society, having replaced its former treasurer. Between March 1, 2006 and September 19, 2009, it’s reported that she stole $103,729.34 from the society by forging the former treasurer’s signature on cheques.
She turned herself in to RCMP after the time came for the society to pay $45,000 for new washrooms by the baseball diamonds. As the money was no longer in the account, the Society had to use a $12,000 term deposit Kelly did not know about towards payment, and was forced to ask the contractor to donate $20,000 of work towards the project. Since then, fees for the approximately 500 members have increased, and the society still has a debt to the city, to which they pay $12,500 for use of the space each year.
Throughout this time, Kelly was also employed as an insurance broker for HUB International Barton Insurance, who processed insurance for people buying vehicles at dealerships. Between March 24, 2009 and September 4, 2009, she allegedly stole $52,902.98 from the company in various ways including pocketing cash and billing other clients, as well as processing refunds of up to $2,500 onto her own credit card after hours.
All of this money she took she says she spent buying clothes, makeup and fragrances, as well as taking trips to Grande Prairie and Hudson’s Hope.
Around the time of her confession, she had heard employees talking about a suspicious looking refund, and says she decided to turn herself in, knowing it was only a matter of time before she was discovered. Kelly maintains that during this time she had no gambling or drug addiction, but that she has a problem with shopping; she says she only wears 15 per cent of the clothes she buys. While Kelly has seen multiple psychiatrists, her defence lawyer says none were willing to provide a statement to the court.
Crown Counsel Paul Swartz argues that Kelly’s crimes were motivated by greed, and a sought-after lifestyle, as she had no financial pressures. He says her deliberate actions show no concern towards her friends or the community, and has shown no remorse. He also points out that she has made no effort to make restitution, even adding that she had held a publicized garage sale selling clothing items that she said she had bought with the money she stole. She also owns a house jointly with her husband.
In her defence, Kelly’s lawyer, John Hope, argues that Kelly is not as manipulative as the Crown made her out to be, as someone like that would have gone to a lawyer first, not to the RCMP. He says she didn’t even think she needed a lawyer the first time she spoke to RCMP. She also brought in all the paperwork needed, instead of destroying it or “losing” it. That, plus her guilty plea Tuesday, he says has saved RCMP between 800 and 1,500 investigation hours.
Although not backed up with medical evidence, he says Kelly’s shopping is “addiction transfer” from quitting her past drug habit cold turkey. She currently owes approximately $37,000 in credit card debt, one of the reasons he says she shouldn’t be forced to make restitution. He argues that with the $2,500 a month payments she owes each month to a credit service, currently paid by her mother-in-law, and the $25 an hour she could make as a personal trainer, paying back the money she took would compromise her rehabilitation after her time served, and impair her financial future.
Kelly will be back in court at 9:30 tomorrow morning for her sentencing.
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