Ex-clerk sentenced for stealing from Cornwall jeweller

Pommier Jewellers on Second Street East in Cornwall, Ont. on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. Former sales associate Deborah Smith has been sentenced to community service and restitution for stealing from the jewellery store in 2018 and 2019. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – A former Cornwall jewellery store clerk has been sentenced to community service and restitution for stealing from her employer.

Deborah Smith, 59, was sentenced last month after pleading guilty in September 2021 to a single count of theft under $5,000. She had faced a more serious charge of fraud over $5,000.

Smith was sentenced to 100 hours of community service to be completed within the next year and a half and three years probation.

She also had to make $8,000 in restitution to Pommier Jewellers, which is believed to have already been done, and had to pay a $100 victim fine surcharge.

Smith had been a sales associate for nine years at the Second Street East store before she was terminated and escorted from the business by police in early 2019.

During her plea appearance last fall, court heard how Smith had used a manager’s code to void transactions marked as cash and then pocket the money on 19 different occasions between December 2018 and March 2019.

The scheme was uncovered after a customer came into the store to pick up a ring and the store found the sale had been voided, even though the customer said they never cancelled the sale. Police later talked to other customers who had jewellery in their possession even though their purchases had been voided.

The owners, Andre and France Pommier, were able to track down evidence to prove nearly $2,500 in fraudulent transactions but believed the amount stolen was much more.

Smith now lives in Pembroke.