A local seniors group is hurting financially after one of its members stole $1,800 from the organization’s purse.
The treasurer of the Sooke Seniors Activity Society confessed in a letter to stealing over $1,800 in funds gathered from activity bus fees and memberships. She cited that she was given little guidance when she first took over the role of treasurer, and a lack of access to the program that would allow her to remit employer deductions and view up-to-date information.
She didn’t communicate her confusion, and instead quietly delayed making deposits into the group’s bank account so she could “borrow” money on a short-term basis.
“This worked quite well, but keep anything in the dark and it mushrooms,” she said in the letter.
She said she used the money for groceries and tobacco and then gambled to try to recoup the losses.
“I am truly ashamed of and sorry for the things I have done to burden the Sooke Seniors Activity Society,” she said, promising to pay the money back in full.
Kathleen Forde, vice-president of the society, who didn’t want to name the treasurer for privacy reasons, said she isn’t planning to press charges.
The treasurer was receiving disability payments, she said, and most likely needed the money.
“I can see it was just too tempting,” she said.
Forde said she keeps the society’s financial records on her computer, otherwise she might have never found out about the missing deposits.
She has been passing the letter around to members on the bus, not only for information, but also to encourage them to donate. Two people have already stepped forward, and the society has enough money to make it through July, but she’s still angry about the theft.
“It’s sad that they’d do that to seniors.”