Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Gambler loses freedom

Gets 3 years behind bars for $1.2-M theft at hospital

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A former Winnipeg hospital employee has been sentenced to three years in prison for stealing $1.2 million over 10 years to feed a gambling addiction.

Michelle Cadger, 47, pleaded guilty last year to fraud over $5,000. She returned to court Wednesday for sentencing, a joint recommendation from Crown and defence lawyers. Cadger has also been ordered to repay the stolen cash.

The theft came to light in 2010 when internal concerns prompted the Misericordia Health Centre to hire an external auditing firm, which confirmed a massive amount of money was missing from a hospital bank machine. Cadger has since been fired from the job she had held since 1980.

The provincial government has filed documents in Court of Queen's Bench in an attempt to have Cadger's assets and bank accounts frozen while the case remains before the courts.

The province also wants $25,000 cash she paid to a local law firm put in trust, alleging it is the proceeds of crime, and has filed a civil lawsuit seeking unspecified financial damages.

According to affidavits, Cadger spent nearly $400,000 of stolen money on slot machines since 2008. She also used funds to take nine friends on a trip to Hawaii and purchase a new car.

Cadger worked as an accounts receivable clerk in the hospital's finance department and had access to large amounts of money used to fill the ATM. She used her position to repeatedly remove money from the cash float to fill the bank machine, the court documents state.

The Misericordia operated the ATM until the fraud was discovered, at which time the hospital transferred its operation to an outside company.

www.mikeoncrime

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 1, 2013 B3

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