Ar­gu­ments heard in ATB fraud case

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

Ar­gu­ments were made by the Crown and de­fense in the case of Re­becca Tucker who has pleaded guilty to de­fraud­ing se­niors while work­ing as a teller at ATB Fi­nan­cial in Drumheller.

Tucker ap­peared in pro­vin­cial court in Drumheller on Fri­day, June 8. She had pleaded guilty on a pre­vi­ous date and was sched­uled for sen­tenc­ing. Judge Bar­ley made it known on record that be­cause of the se­ri­ous­ness of this case, he would not hand down sen­tence un­til July 6.

Prose­cu­tor Ron Ped­er­sen pre­sented the facts of the case. Be­tween Novem­ber 30, 2015, and Novem­ber 17, 2016, Tucker had made 16 unau­tho­rized with­drawals from seven ac­counts. Video sur­veil­lance showed the cus­tomer had ap­peared at the wicket on the dates the funds were taken, but the with­drawals were made after the clients had left. In all but three cases, with­drawal slips were com­pleted, but with no sig­na­tures by the cus­tomers.

The ages of the vic­tims ranged from 73- 89, and a to­tal of $47,538 was taken.

Ped­er­sen said Tucker had no pre­vi­ous record and has a pos­i­tive pre-sen­tence re­port. Mit­i­gat­ing fac­tors in­clude that on July 27, 2017, she ad­mit­ted to the sub­stan­tive facts of the case to a po­lice of­fi­cer. She also ex­pressed re­morse in an apol­ogy let­ter she has drafted.

Ped­er­sen ar­gues that in all cases where there is theft by a per­son in a po­si­tion of trust, de­ter­rence and de­nun­ci­a­tion are the pri­mary func­tions of sen­tenc­ing and there must be jail. To this point, there has been no resti­tu­tion. He rec­om­mended a start­ing point for sen­tenc­ing in the 12-18 month range as well as a resti­tu­tion order in the amount of $47,538 to ATB in Drumheller. The fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion has al­ready re­im­bursed its cus­tomers.

De­fense for Tucker, Clarke Ries, told the court that Tucker has ac­cepted full re­spon­si­bil­ity and the rel­a­tive lack of so­phis­ti­ca­tion in the crime were mit­i­gat­ing fac­tors.

He ar­gued that com­mu­nity dis­po­si­tion could be suit­able in a case such as this. If the court feels that in­car­cer­a­tion is nec­es­sary, he ar­gued the start­ing point should be for a 90-day in­ter­mit­tent sen­tence. Tucker’s fam­ily has borne hard­ship be­cause of the case. Her home was fore­closed upon and the fam­ily found it nec­es­sary to re­lo­cate to find work. She is a care­giver to six chil­dren and has of­fered to pay $1,000 per month in resti­tu­tion as a start­ing point.

Ped­er­sen coun­tered that be­cause Tucker at­tempted to cover her tracks by fill­ing out de­posit slips, and tar­get­ing se­niors, did show so­phis­ti­ca­tion.

Sen­tenc­ing date has been set for July 6.

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