The former executive director of the Regina Sexual Assault Centre (RSAC) has been convicted of defrauding the non-profit organization out of hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of 14 years.
In June of 2016, police received a tip about a senior employee allegedly taking money from the agency.
After a seven-month long investigation, 63-year-old Debra Lynn House was arrested in January of 2017.
House was charged with fraud over $5,000, forging a document and theft over $5,000.
On Oct. 19 House pleaded guilty to fraud over $5,000 and was sentenced to three years in jail. Court heard she had taken more than $700,000 from the organization between February 2002 and May 2016.
In a news release, the sexual assault centre expressed relief that the court process is over, describing it as an emotional ordeal for staff members.
“It was deeply distressing to learn that a trusted individual who we saw at work each day, could be capable of such wrongdoing,” the release said.
“Most significantly, Ms. House did not just steal from an organization: she stole from each individual who came through our doors or called our crisis line. She stole from the very people she was employed to help.”
It went on to note that the fraud committed by House may have damaged the reputation of the sexual assault centre, but expressed hope that that people will not judge the organization by the actions of one person.
Since the charges were laid against House, the centre has worked to improve financial oversight and added members to the board with experience in external auditing and risk management.
Note: A previous version of this story said House was convicted of stealing, although she was charged with theft, she pleaded guilty to fraud.