Central Saanich woman gets probation for stealing $40,000 from school parent group

Financial pressure led Tanya Adam to steal the money.

File photo The Garden City Tree and Landscape crew standing in front of the new Keating Elementary School playground in September.

File photo The Garden City Tree and Landscape crew standing in front of the new Keating Elementary School playground in September.

Former treasurer of the Keating Home and School Association, Tanya Larayne Adam, who stole over $40,000 from Keating Elementary School’s parent’s group was sentenced Monday to three years’ probation with several conditions.

“She’s required to do 120 hours of community work service. She has already paid full restitution of the money,” said Defence Lawyer, Dale Marshall, adding that the money was paid back before the sentencing hearing in Victoria provincial court.

Crown Prosecutor Joselyn Byrne asked for a jail sentence of nine to 12 months with two years probation, while defence had originally sought a non-custodial disposition of probation.

“I don’t think jail serves any purpose except for the people that are seeking some kind of revenge,” said Marshall.

Marshall said it was Adam’s background that led her to stealing over $40,000, as she was under financial pressure.

The money was intended to go towards a new school playground.

Adam has also agreed to participate in a restorative justice program if anybody from the parent group wishes to meet with her.

Adam, who also co-operated with police and who gave a full confession, always intended to plead guilty according to Marshall. He added Adam had always meant to pay back the money.

“It wasn’t a sophisticated scheme. It was very amateurish, with full intention of never depriving them of the money but paying it back. She was in financial pressure. She made a mistake,” said Marshall.

A new playground has since been built by Garden City Tree and Landscape, who built the structure at their own expense, worth $40,000. The school also received a donation of $30,000 from the Peninsula Co-op to help make up for the stolen funds.