Justice With Dignity - Committee to Remember Kimberly Rogers

Kimberly Rogers Inquest Alerts

Fraud meant jail in '96, probe told


by Keith Lacey
Special to The Globe and Mail

Wednesday, October 30, 2002 Print Edition, Page A6



SUDBURY -- If a pregnant woman who died while under house arrest had fraudulently collected more than $13,000 in welfare benefits back in 1996, she would have ended up in jail, a coroner's inquest heard yesterday.

Before Ontario's Tory government adopted conditional sentences that year, allowing people to serve their sentences in the community, almost all adults convicted of welfare fraud over $5,000 were sent to jail, testified Mary Nothery, director of the criminal law policy branch for the Ministry of the Attorney-General.

To this day, there is no formal provincial policy in prosecuting welfare fraud, but sentences are based on case law and the circumstances of each accused, Ms. Nothery said.

Kimberly Rogers, 40, was sentenced to six months of house arrest and 18 months of probation after pleading guilty to theft over $5,000 for collecting $13,500 in welfare while receiving student loans of $32,000 between 1996 and late 1999. She was eight months pregnant when her body was found in her apartment during a blistering heat wave.

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