A senior citizen who admitted to defrauding the provincial ministry of social services was given a 12-month suspended sentence Monday afternoon and was ordered to pay back a significant amount.
Gerald Franklyn Hanson, a 70-year-old former ferry operator who previously had no criminal record, pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud in Prince Albert Provincial Court.
According to Crown Prosecutor Linh Le, Hanson advised his common-law partner to list her relationship status as “single” on her application for social assistance, which resulted in the pair receiving roughly $13,000 more than they should have between 2011 and 2015. Hanson’s partner was also charged and convicted of fraud, Le said, and though she was ordered to pay back the money, she was not in a position to do so given her limited financial means.
Le acknowledged Hanson was also not likely able to repay the full amount given his poor health and lack of financial security. She asked the court to order $6,000 in restitution.
Hanson, who appeared in court using a walker with his home care nurse accompanying him, declined an opportunity to speak prior to his sentencing.
Judge Earl Kalenith agreed it would be “unrealistic” to order Hanson to repay the full amount, but said some measure of punishment was still required. Kalenith issued a 12-month suspended sentence with conditions requiring Hanson to report to a probation officer, keep the peace and ordered him to repay the $6,000.
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