Former Alpha bookkeeper charged with fraud
A former bookkeeper at Alpha secondary school has been charged with fraud, say Burnaby RCMP.
Jodi Fran Fingarsen, 45, of Coquitlam has been charged with two counts of fraud, said Burnaby RCMP Corp. Dave Reid.
Fingarsen was arrested last July, questioned and released before investigators submitted their recommendations for charges to Crown counsel in October, he said. The Crown has now approved the fraud charges.
Police allege a misappropriation of funds occurred while she was employed at Alpha secondary between July 2008 and July 2010. The money was discovered missing in March 2009 during an audit, Reid said.
"Of course when you find a little bit missing you've got to dig a little bit deeper. So it took a little while for them to trace everything," he said.
Police allege that during the period in question, "[Fingarsen] was the only bookkeeper and had sole access to the accounting system and financial records," Reid said. "It is estimated that she defrauded the school of monies in excess of $60,000."
Last June, Burnaby school district filed a notice of civil claim against Fingarsen, CIBC and Vancity.
In it, the district claims that between April 2007 and April 2010 Fingarsen fraudulently stole more than $100,000 of the district's money.
It claims she did so by taking cheques issued by the district to other individuals and companies and depositing them into her own personal account at CIBC and writing district cheques payable to herself or to cash. As well, the district claims Fingarsen stole cash received through school fundraising activities, donations, student fees, fees for field trips and the like.
The district's claims against CIBC are that it should not have honoured the stolen cheques, "some of which bore a forged endorsement and some of which were not endorsed at all," and it should have known Fingarsen was not the payee of the fraudulent cheques. Similarly, Vancity, the district's financial institution, should not have paid out the fraudulent cheques, the district claims.
None of these claims have been proven in court.
Both CIBC and Vancity the allegations. CIBC instead claims the district failed to properly supervise its employee, Fingarsen, and Vancity claims that while the district learned of the fraud around April 2010, the credit union was never provided details of the disputed cheques "despite repeated requests," until it received the district's notice of civil claim in June 2012.
Fingarsen has not filed a response to the district's civil claim.
District officials were away on spring break and unavailable Friday for comment on the charges being laid.