The former Calgary school principal gets a two-year house arrest for fraud

More than 100 checks were paid to Dr. Alexander McKay worth over $ 200,000

Article content

A former Calgary school principal has been sentenced to two years of varying house arrest after pleading guilty to forging invoices to receive payments from the Calgary Board of Education.

Advertising

Article content

Alexander Malcolm McKay, who almost appeared, pleaded guilty in court Friday to having used a forged document as if it were legitimate. An agreed fact sheet read into court shows that McKay was principal at Altadore School from March 1, 2014 to February 15, 2017, where he submitted a series of false invoices from vendors that did not exist for items not delivered.

The invoices were submitted by McKay for reimbursement from CBE, claiming that he had used his personal credit card and was seeking a refund using checks.

The agreed fact sheet showed that CBE staff noticed financial irregularities at Altadore School in January 2017, and forensic auditors were called in to investigate. They seized electronics belonging to the school board and McKay, who were eventually handed over to the Calgary Police Service.

Advertising

Article content

More than 100 checks were paid to McKay worth over $ 200,000. The checks turned out to be deposited in a joint bank account owned by McKay and his spouse.

The Calgary Board of Education building in downtown Calgary.
The Calgary Board of Education building in downtown Calgary. Photo by Jim Wells / Postmedia

The CPS found that the money was used to pay for the daily expenses and to pay for the residence where McKay’s mother lived.

McKay was arrested in December 2019. When he was arrested, he had told police that the school board had been reimbursed.

The agreed statement of facts, read on Friday, shows that McKay entered into a settlement agreement and through periodic payments has made full repayment of its debt.

Crown prosecutor Tom Burglas presented a joint submission Friday for a two-year period minus one day to be served in the community in response to McKay’s guilty plea.

Advertising

Article content

He called the defendants’ crime “gross” and said they were carried out over an extended period of time and needed significant coordination to avoid detection by regulators.

“It involves fake paperwork for every single transaction. There was no time along the way where Mr McKay could not have just stopped, ”Burglas said. “It is criminal activity that cannot be tolerated and requires condemnation and deterrence.”

He noted that McKay was in a position of trust when he committed the crimes.

Steve Eichler, McKay’s attorney, noted that his client has no previous criminal record and has already suffered the loss of his career. He said McKay has serious health issues that require regular monitoring by doctors and noted that he had started paying back his debt before police became involved in the case.

Advertising

Article content

“Dr. McKay gave the education system 40 years as an educator, 35 with the school board, of which 18 (he) was the principal, ”said Eichler. “The loss of a career is something that the court can and should actually take note of when sentencing.”

Judge Kristine Eidsvick accepted the joint submission. McKay will now serve nine months of house arrest around the clock, followed by nine months living under a curfew between 6 p.m. 18.00 and 03.00. The last six months of the sentence do not require McKay to remain in his home, but he must remain under sentencing and any violations could see him back in court.

Before sentencing, McKay apologized for his crime.

“I realized that the decisions I made and the actions I took have hurt a lot of people, and that’s why I’m deeply, deeply saddened,” McKay said.

dshort@postmedia.com

    Advertising

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to appear on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications – you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, which is an update of a comment thread you follow, or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on adjusting your email settings.

Leave a Comment