Women accused of stealing from Kelowna hospice scheduled to plead guilty

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

The two women charged with stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the Central Okanagan Hospice Association are now scheduled for court appearances where they are expected to plead guilty.

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, is scheduled to appear in a Kamloops courtroom Jan. 28 for an Intention to enter a guilty plea. Her charges are theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000.

Her co-accused Susan Steen is scheduled to appear in a Vancouver courtroom Jan. 30 to enter a guilty plea on the same charges.

READ ALSO: FRAUD LEADS TO JAIL TIME

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

Court records indicate that 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 Nanaimo 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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