Walker decision postponed

ukoners would be better served if Joanne Walker paid the $70,000 she owes than they would be if she went to jail, defence lawyer Robert Dick argued…

ukoners would be better served if Joanne Walker paid the $70,000 she owes than they would be if she went to jail, defence lawyer Robert Dick argued Monday.

Walker, 48, stands accused on 28 counts of fraud she allegedly committed between July 2004 and July 2005 by selling phony insurance policies in the Whitehorse area.

Previously the court heard Walker issued as many as 150 fake policies for life, auto and business insurance.

Walker was ordered to pay about $100,000 to the Yukon government insurance superintendent.

By May 2006, she had paid about $35,000.

Since then, she has had her house appraised and anticipates paying at least $30,000 from its sale, said Dick, who filed documents with the court on Monday that would funnel her proceeds from the sale directly to the insurance superintendent.

Walker doesn’t deserve to go to jail, Dick told judge John Faulkner.

“Yes, it was a large amount of fraud, but no one individual lost his life savings, as is the case with some frauds,” said Dick.

He recommended “restitution, not incarceration.”

Walker will make every effort towards restitution, Dick added, suggesting a formula that would require Walker to pay $40,000 over the next year.

The court still has no guarantee that Walker will pay the money she owes, said Crown prosecutor David McWhinnie.

“These are better numbers, but there is still only the hope of restitution, rather that cash-in-hand,” said McWhinnie.

Jail is the usual penalty for Walker’s fraud, he said.

Faulkner postponed his decision until Thursday.