Murray gets 90 days in prison for fraud

Jeff Murray, former administrator for the Town of Craik, leaves Moose Jaw provincial court on Wednesday morning with his lawyer, Gail Wartman.

Jeff Murray, former administrator for the Town of Craik, leaves Moose Jaw provincial court on Jan. 25 with his lawyer, Gail Wartman.

By Joel van der Veen

MOOSE JAW — Craik’s former administrator is headed to prison after admitting to defrauding the town to the tune of more than $14,000.

Jeffrey Todd Murray, 42, was sentenced to 90 days in the Regina Provincial Correctional Centre, which he will serve on weekends.

In addition, Murray received three years of probation and was ordered to pay back the entire sum by which he defrauded the town, plus a $200 victim surcharge.

As he handed down the sentence, Justice Daryl Rayner told Murray that multiple factors were at play in his decision.

The greatest aggravating factor was the fact that he took advantage of a small town, said the judge.

“It’s not a large corporation, it’s not someone who can well afford to suffer losses,” he said.

“Craik has suffered a loss . . . Money is what we’re talking about, but it’s also a loss of trust.”

Murray had entered a guilty plea to a single count of fraud, representing a total of $14,181.30 in misspent funds, in an appearance in Moose Jaw provincial court on Jan. 25.

He returned to court on Thursday for a sentencing hearing, accompanied by his wife Karla and other relatives.

Murray appeared calm upon his arrival in the courtroom. For most of the hearing, he was in tears, at times shaking while he listened to the submissions.

He spoke briefly to the judge, expressing his remorse to his fellow townspeople and to his family.

“I am very sorry for what I have done to the taxpayers of the Town of Craik,” he said quietly. “I take full responsibility for my actions.”

In his submission, Crown prosecutor Rob Parker provided background information.

Murray served as the town’s administrator from 2010 to 2014. He was placed on leave in April 2014 as the evidence of his activities came to light.

Previously, Murray faced 33 counts of fraud, laid in March and May of 2016, totalling $41,079.81.

Those charges were withdrawn earlier this year and a single charge of fraud, representing roughly one-third of the former total, was laid by the Crown.

Murray was accused with using the Town of Craik’s Visa card to make more than $12,000 in unauthorized purchases at various businesses, ranging from Cabela’s to Princess Auto.

For the full story, please see the March 20 edition of The Davidson Leader or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.

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