OTTAWA — In January 2016, the Ottawa Police Service was alerted by the YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region to suspicious financial activity involving their Director of Employment and Newcomer Services.
To administer Ottawa newcomer and employment services, the YMCA-YWCA receives public grant money from various government agencies.
The YMCA-YWCA had conducted an audit of the credit card expenditures of the Director and found that between October 2011 and December 2015 $20,548.40 worth of fraudulent purchases were charged against the business credit card issued to her. It was noted that many of these transactions were for the purchase of prepaid gift cards.
The Ottawa Police Organized Fraud Unit conducted an investigation and on March 1, 2018 laid a charge of fraud, possession of property obtained by crime, and launder proceeds of crime against Tanya-Elizabeth Gagnon Dugal-Mendes, 40, of Ottawa.
On October 29, Ms. Gagnon Dugal-Mendes pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of Fraud Under $5000. She was sentenced to eighteen months conditional sentence and restitution of the outstanding balance toward the $20,548.40.
“Both the YMCA-YWCA and the Ottawa Police considered the misuse of these funds a serious breach of the public trust,” said lead investigator Cst. Gavin Morris, with the Ottawa Police Organized Fraud Unit.
The matter is now considered resolved and the money has been repaid to the YMCA-YWCA.