LETHBRIDGE: 48-year old Jacqueline Leigh Oler has been
sentenced to 10-months in jail, with credit for 45-days already served, for
defrauding a 61-year old woman out of $12,596.44.
Oler was acting as the victims personal care aid while working at Lethbridge
Family Services. The two worked out a side arrangement, which is
strictly forbidden by Lethbridge Family Services, in which Oler was given access
to the victims finances to make purchases. The victim suffers from a nerve
condition and confined to a wheelchair most of the time. Oler then issued 52
cheques to herself between March of 2009 and January of 2011.
The Crown noted that it was a position of trust, and that a significant
deterrent was needed to keep people in similar situations from taking advantage
of others in a vunerable position.
The Crown also discussed Oler's pre-sentence report, in which it was noted
that Oler was struggling to admit that she had done anything wrong, even after
entering her guilty plea to fraud over $5,000. Oler's lawyer also noted that
Oler believed she was owed the money for the extra work she was doing.
The Crown followed that by asking for nine months to a year of custody.
The defence countered by asking for less than nine months of house arrest,
saying Oler's family has put up $7,000 which will be paid to the victim, adding
that Oler would continue to work to pay off the balance.
In a statement to the court Oler said, "With all my heart I am sorry,"
adding, "This is not who I am, my actions were reprehensible."
A victim impact statement sent in by the victim, said that she is now
insecure about her judgement when it comes to trusting others. She added that
her credit score has been "scarred for life."
Justice D. Miller handed Oler the 10-month jail sentence and tacked on six
months of probation. During that six months Oler must pay off whatever is still
owing, or she'll be brought back before the court.