06/26/2013 09:40 EDT | Updated 08/26/2013 05:12 EDT

B.C. Daycare Operator Guilty Of $350K Fraud

A former daycare operator on Vancouver Island has been found guilty of bilking the provincial government out of more than $350,000.

Victoria Ann Rutenberg operated three daycare programs out of Cumberland, Royston and Courtenay elementary schools in 2009.

She closed two of the programs in July of that year, but continued to bill the Ministry of Children and Family Development for the next two years.

The centre in Courtenay remained open, but Rutenberg overbilled the ministry for the number of children and the number of hours of operation.

As a result, she received $20,000 dollars a month under B.C.'s Child Care Operating Funding Program, which is supposed to help licensed childcare providers with the cost of providing care.

An RCMP investigation was eventually launched after a suspicious bank employee reported unusual transactions.

Crown lawyer Bruce Morrison said the fraud wasn't difficult to perpetrate.

He plans to ask the Supreme Court trial judge to focus on deterring others, when deciding Rutenberg's sentence.

"Considering the amount of the fraud and the nature of it, the Crown will be seeking a term of imprisonment," he said.

A date for sentencing will be set next month.

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