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['Charlottetown provincial court.']
['Charlottetown provincial court.']

Crystal McTaque stole and defrauded more than $6,000 from former employer, shoplifted from four Charlottetown retailers

A P.E.I. woman was sentenced to jail and ordered to pay more than $6,000 in restitution for defrauding her former Charlottetown employer and theft from city retailers.

Judge Nancy Orr sentenced Crystal McTaque, 30, in provincial court in Charlottetown on Wednesday to a total of six-and-a-half months in jail and ordered her to pay $6,820.50 in restitution.

The bulk of the restitution – $6,106.12 – is owed to her former employer, Bentley, in the Charlottetown Mall.

McTaque was employed as the store’s manager, and from March to October in 2017, she stole items and defrauded the business by performing fake returns using her own identification as well as other employee’s identifications. For those offences, McTaque received four months in jail.

McTaque was also sentenced for four theft offences at retailers in Charlottetown.

Court heard that on Dec. 16 at 7:20 p.m., she stole items from the Buy Rite on St. Peters Road in Charlottetown valued at $213.28. She stole from the Buy Rite again on Dec. 30. This time the value of the items was $125.

On Feb. 15, McTaque and another person were in the Charlottetown Gap factory store at around 7:30 p.m. They were caught on video surveillance stealing clothes and leaving without paying. The store didn’t provide receipts to police, so the Crown attorney Jeff MacDonald said an amount for restitution couldn’t be determined.

Two days later on Feb. 17, McTaque and another person entered the Atlantic Superstore at 465 University Ave. and stole baby formula valued at $751. McTaque was ordered to pay half of that amount in restitution.

The co-accused was sentenced to alternative measures for his role in a couple of the offences.

MacDonald described the shopping offences as a “lapse in judgement” while the fraud offences against her former employer showed planning and sophistication.

Court heard that McTaque was dealing with a drug problem and was hanging around with the wrong crowd. McTaque didn’t have a criminal record prior to the offences.

In addition to the jail term and restitution, McTaque will be on three years of probation once she is released from custody. Orr also barred McTaque from entering any of the businesses involved in the offences while on probation. She also ordered McTaque to write a letter of apology to each business.

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