An Eastern Health employee-turned real estate agent will go to trial in the fall on charges of theft, fraud and forgery.
Debbie McGrath, 51, appeared in provincial court Thursday morning, accused of stealing money from the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Health Laboratory in the Miller Centre in St. John’s between Jan. 1, 2006 and Dec. 31, 2012.
McGrath is charged with three counts of theft over $5,000 from the lab, three counts of defrauding the lab of more than $5,000, making false documents with the intent to defraud, forging a financial document, and causing an Eastern Regional Health Authority employee to act on a false document as if it was genuine.
McGrath’s lawyer, Rosellen Sullivan, asked Thursday for communication documents between her client and specific Eastern Health employees.
Representing the health authority, lawyer Matthew Rowe told the court he was concerned the defence was undertaking a “fishing expedition” for evidence.
He also expressed concern about Sullivan’s request for the names of certain employees in the health authority’s IT department during the period in question, saying he feared the defence would follow up with a request for their contact information.
The defence will argue a number of applications when McGrath’s trial gets underway Nov. 19. Originally scheduled to take place over five days this week, the trial will continue until Nov. 30.
McGrath began a career in real estate in 2010, while she was still working with the health authority, and became owner of Exit Realty Oceans Edge real estate firm in Bay Roberts in 2014, according to an online profile that was active last year but has since been removed. McGrath doesn’t appear to have any current real estate listings. She is no longer affiliated with Exit Realty Oceans Edge.
When she was charged a year ago, four years after the alleged crimes, the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Realtors issued a written statement to the media, saying it wasn’t taking McGrath’s charges lightly, but stressing the charges had yet to be proven in court.