Saskatoon nurse convicted of fraud after stealing $20K from union

Canadian cash is shown: (iStock)

A Saskatoon nurse has been convicted of fraud after stealing thousands of dollars from the union for which she worked.

Mary Lorraine Wilson, 58, pleaded guilty for defrauding the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses while she was the president of its union, Local 151, on Tuesday.

Wilson stole $20,000 from the union and used the vice-president of the union’s signature to forge 95 cheques from 2015 to 2019. She worked at Parkridge Centre in Saskatoon during this time.

A joint submission was given to Judge Vanessa Monar Enweani, something she said was “unusual.”

Before the sentencing Monar Enweani told the courtroom the threshold to reject the submission was “high” but ended up accepting it.

Wilson faces a fine of $1,800 with a 30 per cent victim surcharge of $540. Wilson was also sentenced to 12 months probation and must complete 40 hours of community service.

Wilson is prohibited from seeking, obtaining or continuing any employment or becoming a volunteer in any capacity that involves having authority over money, property or valuable security of another person for five years.

She also gave the local union a $20,000 cheque during her sentencing.

Defense lawyer Daniel Katzman told the court that Wilson’s husband went on disability in 2014 after being diagnosed with cancer; the fraud started in 2015, indicating a potential reason for why she did it.

Wilson also has a gambling addiction and is attending counselling, court heard.

Katzman says the funds were used for “everyday spending” and cash withdrawals were done when her account was low.

‘IT KILLED MY SPIRIT’

Stacey Moore, former president of Local 151, addressed the courtroom with her victim impact statement saying she looked up to Wilson as a mentor - but Wilson betrayed her trust.

Moore ran and won for president against Wilson when she said the union needed change.

She was left to deal with a police investigation due to the missing bank statements.

“There was so much hostility and negativity and it killed my spirit. Every time I saw I had to work with you, it caused me so much anxiety that I had to keep calling in sick,” Moore said.

Moore says she ended up taking a mental health leave from work and attempted suicide three times from March to May 2020.

“I feel so betrayed by you and so do many other people. I hope that this will stay with you and I hope that you have to keep thinking about what you did. You didn’t just take money from people, you took part of the love of our job away.”

Terry Leslar, vice-president of the union, also read a victim impact statement. He told the courtroom through tears that since Wilson used his signature to forge the cheques, he was “targeted” and painted with the same brush.

Leslar has worked in the union for 25 years and faced two years of stress trying to prove his innocence

Wilson addressed the courtroom at the end saying she realized her actions have caused many people harm and she’s sorry.