KELOWNA, B.C. — A former British Columbia social worker who stole money from young people in provincial care has been sentenced to five years in prison.
The sentence for Robert Riley Sanders was handed down Monday in B.C. Supreme Court in Kelowna.
It comes more than a year after Saunders pleaded guilty to breach of trust, forgery and fraud over $5,000.
Justice Steven Wilson sentenced Saunders to five years on the fraud count and a concurrent two year term on breach of trust and forgery charges, while court documents show several other counts were stayed.
Saunders misappropriated an estimated $460,000 from the Ministry of Children and Family Development by opening joint accounts with 24 youths in his care, many of them Indigenous, and then taking their benefits.
The provincial government settled a class-action lawsuit with more than 100 people who said they were victims of Saunders in the scheme that was not discovered until his regular supervisor was on vacation in 2017.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 26, 2022.
The Canadian Press