No progress yet in Kelowna hospice fraud case

A woman accused of bilking the hospice association of thousands of dollars made a court appearance.

One of the women accused of bilking the Central Okanagan Hospice Association of thousands of dollars made a court appearance today.

Melanie Gray, who is accused of stealing $69,043 between February 2013 and November 2015 by using the Central Okanagan Hospice Association’s (COHA) credit card made a brief appearance in court Tuesday for charges of theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000.

The matter was deferred and she will return with her co-accused Susan Steen Jan. 31.

READ ALSO: FRAUD LEADS TO JAIL TIME

Steen faces the same charges as Gray and court documents indicate that on Sept. 12, 2012, she allegedly defrauded COHA of $71 by making a false claim for a cellphone expense. She is also accused of stealing upward of $109,000 from COHA between July 2012 and April 2016, by using the hospice’s credit card.

Steen sentenced to four months in jail and two years of probation for a similar crime in Nanaimo last month.

Court records indicate that Susan Maureen Steen, 71, was handed down the sentence Dec. 20 2018 in a Nanaimo courtroom.

Steen pleaded guilty in April 2018 to a charge of fraud and theft, stemming from a complaint by the Nanaimo Community Hospice Society, where she had been employed as an executive director.

Steen had allegedly misused $6,000 from the non-profit’s credit card. She was fired in June 2017, which was roughly six months after she was hired, for the discrepancy.

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