06/28/2013 20:17 EDT | Updated 08/28/2013 05:12 EDT

Quebec woman goes to jail for stealing $160K from public

A Quebec City woman who went on luxury shopping sprees on the public dime has been sentenced to more than three years in prison.

Over the course of two years, Anne-Barbara Forgues embezzled $160,000 from her employers and two scientific research centres, spending the money on furs, jewelry, watches, designer shoes, clothes, bags and perfume.

She used their credit cards and wrote up bogus bills in order to pay for her shopping habit.

Earlier this month, when she pleaded guilty to more than a half-dozen fraud charges, she cried, telling the judge she was a “compulsive shopper” who stayed up late at night scouring the internet and making lists of what she wanted.

She stole the $160,000 from two scientific research centres, one at Laval University and the other funded by the province.

Crown prosecutor Guillaume Michaud said it’s the second time Forgues had been caught.

He said she was sentenced to six months of house arrest for a 2004 fraud of $200,000.

He added that the fact that Forgues stole money from the government this time was probably a factor in the judge’s decision to send the 43-year-old to jail.