Former judge gets 5 years for hospital fraud scheme

CBC News

A former New Brunswick judge was sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of defrauding the Miramichi hospital corporation of nearly $1 million.

Drew Stymiest and three former hospital executives were found guilty in February of 40 counts of fraud and breach of trust.

Former New Brunswick judge Drew Stymiest leaves his fraud sentencing hearing Friday in what was called a simple case of 'greed.'

Their scheme diverted cash away from the hospital corporation through shell companies, double billing, inflated bonuses and kickbacks between 1994 and 2000.

In handing down sentence, Judge Stephen McNally reserved his harshest words for Stymiest, saying he was an "embarrassment to the judiciary" and that Canadians expect judges to uphold and administer the law.

"Stymiest's sole motivation in committing these crimes seems to be simple greed. The community trusts and expects judges to respect the law as they administer it."

Former CEO John Tucker was sentenced to four and half years and ordered to pay more than $600,000. Ian Jamieson, former vice-president of finance, and Darrel Doucette, former vice-president of support service, were each given two and half years in jail.

The four had written and cashed illegal cheques that were supposed to be used to recruit new doctors, wrote phoney invoices and diverted hospital funds into their private accounts, their trial was told.

All were ordered to pay back money to the hospital. Stymiest's portion was more than $200,000.

McNally said the crime went undetected for so long because of the men's high professional and social status.