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No jail time for P.E.I. man who defrauded Gap store while working there

P.E.I. provincial court in Charlottetown.
P.E.I. provincial court in Charlottetown. - SaltWire Network

A P.E.I. man who stole more than $2,400 from a Gap store in Charlottetown by making false refunds while he worked there was recently given a suspended sentence.

Aaron James Ronnie Waite, 24, appeared before Judge Nancy Orr in provincial court in Charlottetown for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to one count of fraud.

Reading from an agreed statement of facts, Crown attorney John Diamond told the court that on Oct. 16, Waite met with a loss prevention officer from the store and admitted to completing refunds that didn’t exist.

Waite was an employee at the time, and the court heard he completed a total of $2,410.12 in false refunds.

Diamond said Waite told police he used some of the money to buy insulin for his mother who was recently diagnosed with diabetes.

Waite also told police his partner had recently lost their job.

Defence lawyer Justin Milne said Waite accepted responsibility for his actions and expressed remorse.

Milne said 20 per cent of Waite’s first pay cheque at his new job went to Gap and he has enrolled in a credit counselling program.

Before sentencing Waite, Orr said many people have financial difficulties, but helping themselves to their employer’s money isn’t an option.

In giving Waite a suspended sentence, Orr followed a joint recommendation from the Crown and defence.

Waite will be on probation for one year and was ordered to pay the remaining $2,210.12 in restitution.

He must also perform 50 hours of community service.

Orr told Waite sentences for employee fraud often include jail time.

“You should consider yourself quite lucky in that regard sir,” she said.

Ryan Ross is The Guardian's justice reporter.

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