• Crime Does Not Pay
  • June 28, 2008 | Authors: Vicki L. Giles; Thomas W. R. Ross; Glenn D. Tait
  • Law Firms: McLennan Ross LLP - Edmonton Office ; McLennan Ross LLP - Calgary Office ; McLennan Ross LLP - Yellowknife Office
  • An employee of a grocery chain in Cranbrook faked customer refunds and pocketed the money to the tune of about $6,000. In criminal court, she pled guilty to the lesser offence of theft under $5,000 and was sentenced for that.

    Thieves will sometimes reimburse victims before the criminal sentence is imposed and criminal courts will sometimes order thieves to pay back victims, but neither happened in this case, so the employer sued her for the lost money and also to recover its related costs. In a decision issued in the last few months, the B.C. Supreme Court ordered that she repay $6,000 to the employer for the lost cash, and it also ordered that she pay damages of another $27,437.26 to compensate the employer for its internal costs of investigating the criminal conduct and assisting in the criminal prosecution.

    It is not common to see similar damage claims, but this case confirms that damages of this nature are available. In some cases, they might even be available under the arbitration process in a collective agreement.