By Nancy Kelly
The Greenwood Military Family Resource Centre is no closer to recovering the $400,000 it is owed by a former employee who admitted to a multi-year theft of funds from the organization.
In early May, a civil judgment was made in Nova Scotia Supreme Court against Lorraine Byers for the amount of $403,340.95. The Harbourville woman, who worked at the centre for 13 years, admitted in March of last year to diverting money from the centre’s accounts to her own. A bank investigation concluded Byers, the centre’s business manager between 1998 and 2011, had diverted funds by falsifying records, forging signatures on cheques written to the centre and its employees and diverting third party donations from the centre.
Megan Venner, chairwoman of the centre’s board of directors recently said the recovery of the stolen funds is still a work in progress.
“I'm afraid I have nothing new to report. We are still seeking to collect on the settlement,” said Venner.
Court documents, which revealed Byers converted “certain of the centre’s financial resources to her own personal use,” also indicate there has been no action on the settlement since Byers was issued a discovery subpoena in aid of execution of the judgement by TMC Law in June. Venner did not confirm if or when Byers complied with the subpoena.
Capt. John Pulchny, 14 Wing’s public affairs officer, said there have no criminal charges laid against Byers to date, but added, “on the military side” the matter is still being investigated by the Canadian Forces National Investigative Service.
“A forensic audit is getting down to the nitty-gritty,” said Pulchny. He anticipates the results of the audit will most likely help determine the course of future action against Byers by the investigative service.