A Kamloops-area woman who bilked the provincial government for $30,500 has avoided jail, but ordered to repay the money she obtained fraudulently.
Jessica Narcisse, 34, will also spend two years on probation after pleading guilty on Tuesday to two counts of welfare fraud.
Narcisse, who lives in Chase, obtained welfare payments fraudulently over two extended periods — between August 2013 and December 2014, and again between July 2016 and February 2018.
Over the first span, Narcisse was living in Chilliwack and working for a Salvation Army day care. Over the second span, she was living in Chase and working for an Adams Lake Indian Band day care.
Crown prosecutor Tim Livingston said Narcisse did not report either job to provincial authorities, as required for individuals collecting welfare.
In total, court heard, Narcisse fraudulently obtained $30,506.19 in welfare payments.
Court heard Narcisse, a mother of four, has recently started her own business producing First Nations jewelry and regalia.
Kamloops provincial court Judge Stella Frame placed Narcisse on a two-year probation term and ordered she pay restitution to the government.
“The whole purpose of those payments is to assist people who are in dire straits to make ends meet to have their basic needs met,” Frame said, noting the importance of reporting employment to welfare authorities. “To do otherwise is to steal from people who do need it.”
Frame also ordered Narcisse to complete 30 hours of community service.