Employee defrauded WCB of nearly $800,000

Edmonton woman overpaid claimants, took $117,500 in kickbacks

A former Alberta Workers' Compensation Board case manager has pleaded guilty to overpaying more than a dozen injured workers to the tune of nearly $800,000.

Sandra Leona Plumite, from the Edmonton suburb of St. Albert, admitted to the Court of Queen's Bench that she falsified workers' files, made large settlement payments without any supporting medical diagnosis or documentation, provided child-care expenses to workers without children and even paid benefits to a man who had died.

The court heard how Plumite deceived her employer from the beginning. She padded her resumé to get the WCB job, which she held from 2000 to 2003, claiming she had two diplomas from Grant MacEwan College and had worked for a national bank.

In all, Plumite falsified 14 claimant files, including that of Gurcharn Singh Sidhu. Plumite altered Sidhu's file so he would receive an extra 59 disability cheques, on top of his bi-weekly disability payments, for a total of $321,000.

Sidhu, in turn, transferred at total of $117,500 into Plumite's personal account. He pleaded guilty to paying a secret commission and received a two-year conditional sentence and three years' probation.

Among the other falsified claims, which totalled $769,106.77 in overpayments, Plumite reopened a friend's file and sent him a $6,900 cheque as repayment for money she had borrowed from him.

Plumite, who is out on bail, will return to court on Sept. 26 for sentencing.

Latest stories