05/02/2013 03:59 EDT | Updated 07/02/2013 05:12 EDT

Janet Bayda, Accountant, Charged With Embezzling $1 million From Non-Profit

VANCOUVER - An accountant has been charged with embezzling more than $1 million from a Vancouver non-profit organization that promotes justice and democratic principles.

Janet Mercedes Bayda worked on a contract basis for 18 years for the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy.

The centre accuses Bayda of taking the money by creating false entries in the accounts of the organization to conceal cheques that went to her.

She was fired in December 2011 when the alleged fraud was detected and the police were called in, and resigned as a registered chartered accountant last month.

The centre says Bayda has since returned $425,000 and the organization is trying to recover more of the money, while also implementing new accounting procedures to prevent a repeat of the crime.

The International Centre for Criminal Law Reform was founded in 1991 to promote democracy, the rule of law and criminal justice principles in Canada and around the world.

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