The judge in the fraud cause of a former Squamish Nation council member adjourned sentencing June 15 and ordered a psychiatric report.
Krisandra Jacobs, 57, was convicted last November of fraud over $5,000 for cashing more than 400 cheques worth almost $1 million between April 2011 and May 2014 from the band’s emergency accounts.
In North Vancouver Provincial Court last month, Judge Lyndsay Smith heard Crown lawyer Jim Bird wants Jacobs to pay back $856,695.23 and serve a four-year sentence in prison, while her defence lawyer asked for a two-year sentence.
At the May 4 hearing, Jacobs’s lawyer John Turner said the root of his client’s trouble was depression from a marriage breakup and gambling addition.
On June 15, however, Smith adjourned sentencing until the end of August, because she said she needed more facts about Jacobs.
Jacobs did not testify in her own defence at the trial, but witnesses for the Crown testified they heard rumours of Jacobs gambling. That was deemed hearsay and not admissible.
Smith said cheques were drawn from financial institutions and an expert said Jacobs had no drug or alcohol addictions, though she did suffer depression at times.
But, Smith said, a 17-page spreadsheet of Jacobs’s bank machine transactions from 2011 to 2014 showed dozens of withdrawals at or near a casino in Burnaby, Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver, and one near the Squamish Chances casino.
“Sentencing is an individualized process, a judge must craft the appropriate sentence for the offender before them taking all relevant characteristics and factors into account,” Smith said.
The judge cited a section of the Criminal Code that, after hearing prosecution and defence arguments, requires the production of evidence to assist in determining the appropriate sentence.
She ordered a psychiatric assessment to be “prepared with particular focus on whether it was Jacobs had a medically recognized [gambling] disorder and, if so, whether that disorder caused or contributed to the commission of the offence.”
“I am aware of the attendant delay and the inevitable stress that it will create, but on balance, concluded that it is the right thing to do.”
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