The injured hospital

 

1297171642844_ORIGINALWe’ll never know what good the $1.2 million Michelle Cadger, 49, somehow managed to pilfer from the Misericordia Health Centre over a decade might have done if it had gone to public health services or capital projects instead of her raging VLT habit and penchant for gold.

Cadger will spend at least a year locked in Stony Mountain prison after being sentenced to three years this week for theft over $5,000. [Article here].

But, like Judge Wanda Garreck said, this was far from a victimless crime. Ultimately, as she says, it’s the public left holding the bag.

I can’t explain how an audit found $1.46 million was missing, but Cadger — who says she didn’t track her many thefts — only pleaded to stealing the million two.

I can’t explain how her husband of 25 years didn’t know something was amiss given they suddenly had a new Toyota and his wife — who made a $40,000 annual salary — had acquired luxury goods including:

  • A Louis Vuitton wallet
  • A Christian Dior purse
  • Many pieces of gold jewelry, some crusted with diamonds
  • A Tag Heuer watch
  • Diamond earrings

And while those items — along with the thousands left in bank account balances, the Toyota Corolla Sport [?] and envelopes stuffed with cash found in Cadger’s apartment — have been forfeited to the Crown, it was admitted it barely makes a dent to compensate what she took.

And then there’s the intangibles and ancillary costs the hospital [read: the taxpayer] incurred as a result of the colossal ripoff Cadger managed to perpetrate.

But I won’t hector you on it. Instead, below is presented the bulk of the victim impact statement the hospital’s CEO, Rosie Jacuzzi, filed in the sentencing hearing, for the record. An offer to read it into the record was declined, but the Oct. 28 statement was left in the hands of the judge to take into account.

The theft by Ms. Cadger has had a significant impact upon this small finance staff, other heath centre staff, the executive and the board of directors. MHC has never experienced a theft by an employee. Management and staff felt a sense of betrayal and violation of trust, a core value of the health centre and our founders, the Misericordia Sisters.

The large size of this theft, and the lengthy period of time over which it occurred has had a negative impact on the morale of staff. The review and interviewing process which have been necessary due to this theft has caused a high level of stress and anxiety to all involved.

Staff felt isolated and the morale plummeted resulting in turnover within the finance department. In addition, there was a loss of confidence in the finance department’s ability to steward resources effectively.

Given that MHC is a health care facility which is funded largely by public funds, I am also concerned that this theft has negatively impacted the excellent reputation of MHC and the Misericordia Health Centre Foundation, which is a charitable foundation providing further financial support for MHC.

This case has been widely reported on in the media. The negative publicity has potentially compromised donations and donor confidence in how the health centre steward their funds. MHC is in a 43 million dollar redevelopment campaign where out foundation is responsible to raise 7 million dollars from private donors toward the overall capital costs.

“The money that was stolen had a direct impact on the health centre’s ability to provide enhanced patient equipment, services and upgrades not funded by government and public dollars. The health centre’s operating and capital budgets are lean and ancillary funding is relied upon to provide enhancements that improve the quality of life for our patients and residents.

“In addition, the time spent by staff, executive and board of directors as a result of this theft has been significant.

The theft was first uncovered in January 2010, when the finance manager became aware that an excessive cash amount was ordered for the ATM located ay MHC in December.

As a result of this discovery, an internal review in January 2010 took months of time of the finance manager as it was necessary that she carry out an analysis of the physical flow of cash, how the cash was used and how it was recorded in the books.

As a result of her review with which revealed the cash shortage, MHC hired KPMG to carry out a forensic audit. This process took weeks to months of extensive interviews of the finance department staff by KPMG and a review involving an analysis of transactions for a ten year period.

Given the nature of this audit, finance department staff spent weeks retrieving and reviewing financial records and documents and meeting with accountants and the police in the course of the investigation.

Both the executive and the board of directors have also spent significant time reviewing these issues and providing direction. An extensive amount of staff timer and energy has been diverted to this theft which could have been utilized in a more constructive manner.

In addition to financial losses as a result the staff time spent on this extensive investigation, there have also been significant costs incurred by MHC, including the costs of the KMPG forensic audit, internal audit and legal fees incurred in providing advice to MHC.”

While it remains a mystery how nobody noticed the missing money for so long, it would be wrong to blame the victim. Misericordia does good work.

It would be wrong to let the actions of one dowdy gambling addict derail the public good they’re trying to do for the benefit of the sick and elderly in the city.

More information on the centre’s “future of care” program can be found here.

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