Fraud charges laid

Rosie
Rosie Gillingham
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Former head of employers' council in court today

A woman who was a familiar face in this province for promoting the interests of businesses is being charged with swindling money from her own employer.

Marilyn Pearl Tucker - former president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Employers' Council (NLEC) - will be in provincial court in St. John's today to face fraud charges, The Telegram has learned.

Marilyn Tucker

A woman who was a familiar face in this province for promoting the interests of businesses is being charged with swindling money from her own employer.

Marilyn Pearl Tucker - former president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Employers' Council (NLEC) - will be in provincial court in St. John's today to face fraud charges, The Telegram has learned.

Her case first came before court last week. She's expected to enter a plea today.

While details of the charges have not yet become available, the 62-year-old has been charged with two counts of fraud under $5,000 and a single count of uttering forged documents, all involving the NLEC.

They stem from incidents that allegedly happened in the fall of 2007.

When he was contacted by The Telegram early Monday afternoon, NLEC executive director Richard Alexander opted not to comment while the case is before the courts.

"We'll let the courts figure everything out," he said.

Alexander did say that Tucker has been retired from the council for "the past few years."

Hours after The Telegram's inquiry, the council issued a statement to its members.

"On behalf of the board of directors," Alexander stated. "I reassure you that this investigation has no impact on current operations of the NLEC."

Tucker's lawyer, Jeff Brace, also chose not comment about the case.

For years, Tucker was the spokeswoman for the council, a not-for-profit organization that lobbied for employer interests.

In February 2008, Tucker - who holds a bachelor of commerce and studied accounting at the Society of Management Accountants - was appointed director of business for the Newfoundland and Labrador Business Coalition, according to a news release issued at the time.

When contacted Monday afternoon, Marilyn Butland, the coalition's current director of business, said she was unaware of Tucker's legal woes.

She said Tucker is no longer with the association, and added she doesn't know her current status.

The coalition's website states it is seeking a new director of business since June 2009.

Tucker's rÉsumÉ includes extensive economic work experience with various agencies and organizations.

She also served as a member of the premiers' committee for small renewable resource development in this province and in Prince Edward Island.

According to a government news release, then provincial human resources and employment minister Julie Bettney appointed Tucker to the Labour Market Development Council in October 2000.

rgillingham@thetelegram.com

Organizations: The Telegram, Newfoundland and Labrador Employers, Society of Management Accountants Newfoundland and Labrador Business Coalition Labour Market Development Council

Geographic location: St. John's, Prince Edward Island

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