High-tech firm’s bookkeeper gets year in jail for fraud
The former bookkeeper at a Richmond-based biomedical engineering firm was sentenced to a year in prison on Friday and ordered to pay $151,193 in restitution after pleading guilty to fraud.
Colleen O’Keefe was sentenced by Richmond provincial court Judge Ron Fratkin, who disagreed with both the Crown and defence in making his sentencing decision.
Crown counsel Alan Hay had sought a sentence of two years in prison, while defence lawyer Paul Doroshenko sought a conditional sentence to be served in the community.
According to Hay, O’Keefe worked at Datrend Systems Inc., located just north of the Richmond Auto Mall near Jacombs Road.
Shortly after she was laid off in late 2005 or early 2006, the company noted discrepancies in its records and conducted an internal investigation.
Eventually, the RCMP’s commercial crime unit was brought in and conducted an investigation in 2006.
O’Keefe, a single mother of three adult children, is in her early 50s and had no criminal record, according to Hay.
The offences occurred between Jan. 1, 2001 and the end of December in 2005.
Asked if O’Keefe showed any remorse about what she’d done, Hay said that wasn’t the case until she tendered a letter to the court during her sentencing.
She never contacted the people she’d harmed, Hay said.
Hay said O’Keefe did plead guilty at the earliest possible court date.