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Irony of the Week

VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) - An accountant who kept the books for the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy at the University of British Columbia embezzled more than $1 million from the think tank, the nonprofit claims in court.

The center sued Janet Mercedes Bayda in British Columbia Supreme Court. It claims she oversaw its finances since 1993, as a contracted chartered accountant.

The center claims Bayda wrote checks payable to herself from 2004 to 2011, which she deposited in her personal bank account and used to pay off Diners Club and other credit card charges. To cover her tracks, Bayda failed to record many of the checks in the center's accounting ledgers and destroyed others that came in the think-tank's bank statements, according to the lawsuit.

The center claims it has recovered more than $825,000 "from parties other than Bayda," but incurred more than $322,000 in costs to get the money back.

In all, Bayda defrauded it of more than $1.5 million, about $1 million of which remains owing, the complaint states.

The center is represented by Donald J. Sorochan with Miller Thomson in Vancouver.

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