Financial advisor convicted of fraud can be rehabilitated, lawyer says
Crown attorneys and defence lawyers agree Jennifer Killins should go to prison, but they sparred Tuesday over how long she should spend in custody.
Until her arrest last December, Killins operated Dollars and Sense Financial Group out of Waterloo.
In June, she pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud totalling approximately $1.3 million.
In some cases, Killins took money out of clients’ RRSPs, used clients’ credit cards and took out personal loans in her clients’ names, all without their knowledge – then used that money to either pay for her own lifestyle or to cover her tracks with other clients.
“Essentially she was stealing money from people to repay people she had already stolen money from,” defence lawyer Brennan Smart tells CTV News.
“It snowballed. She lost control of it.”
Smart suggested Killins receive a sentence of 30 months, plus time served.
“In the circumstances of Ms. Killins, the fact that she has no criminal record, the fact that she pled guilty and is accepting responsibility, that and other factors suggest a sentence less than the upper end of the range,” he says.
The Crown argued for a longer sentence – up to four years and 10 months – saying Killins’ victims will continue to suffer for even longer than that.
As the lawyers made their submissions, Killins sat handcuffed in the court’s prisoner box, often wiping tears from her eyes.
Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 24.