Bethke receives jail time for fraud

Austin M.
Austin M. Davis
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Court of Appeal sentences former union treasurer to serve nine months

Diana Bethke will serve nine months in jail, the Court of Appeal decided last week.

Former CUPE Local 9 secretary-treasurer Diana Bethke will serve nine months of jail time for fraud.

The court indicated 15 months would be an adequate sentence, but she had already completed six months of house arrest and community service while under conditions.

She received a six-month credit against her sentence.

On June 13, Bethke, the former secretary-treasurer for Local 9 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) was given a conditional sentence of two years less a day after pleading guilty to fraud over $5,000.

Within the required 30 days of that sentence, the Crown filed an appeal.

“The Crown felt the sentence didn’t offer sufficient deterrence and denunciation for the offence that had been committed,” said Jerome Tholl, senior Crown prosecutor in Regina.

He added the original sentence didn’t recognize the gravity of the offence or Bethke’s moral culpability.

“Our concern was the amount of money, the number of transactions that were involved in the matter, the amount of time that the offence took place (over) and, of course, the vulnerability of the victim,” Tholl said.

Bethke, 56, was an employee of the City of Moose Jaw’s licensing department.

From October 2005 to December 2010, Bethke made 60 fraudulent transactions worth a total of $178,320.58.

On June 13, Tholl told the Times-Herald Bethke had used the money for personal purchases.

As of a month ago, Tholl said, Bethke had not made any of the court ordered restitution payments.

CUPE Local 9 won a civil lawsuit against Bethke worth $240,000 in November 2011.

The lawsuit claimed Bethke wrote cheques to herself from union funds.

Organizations: Canadian Union of Public Employees, Times-Herald Bethke

Geographic location: Regina, Moose Jaw

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