B.C. Appeal Court turns sticky-fingered bookkeeper's house arrest into jail time

Prosecutors didn’t explicitly link the bankruptcy of the Errington mill to the fraud perpetrated by the company’s former bookkeeper.

But when Renee Patricia Merkel was sentenced, her former boss — the daughter of one of the company’s owners — told the court that “the forest industry is a really hard industry to be in” and that while “$100,000 might not seem like a lot of money … to a company that’s struggling, it was a lot of money.”

Despite those words, and the fact that Merkel had a long history of fraud — and of getting house arrest — the judge who sentenced the 43-year-old last spring decided she deserved one more shot at doing

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