House arrest for Penticton man’s welfare fraud

A Penticton man failed to report his income to the ministry while receiving disability cheques

A Penticton man who failed to report income while receiving disability payments is spending the next three months under house arrest.

George Wayne Cunningham, 37, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud over $5,000 in Penticton Provincial Court Monday.

Cunningham first applied for income assistance on March 20, 1998 with the ministry and in 2003 he successfully applied for designation as a person with disabilities eventually recieving $800 a month. He suffered from chronic depression and borderline personality disorder.

In July 2008 Cunningham became employed at Safeway in Penticton. He submitted forms disclosing his income for the first two months of employment, but did not submit forms for the next five and a half years.

In January, 2014, the ministry recieved information from the Canada Revenue Agency indicating Cunningham was the receipient of unreported income. Cunningham blamed his bad memory to an investigative officer with the ministry on the case as to why he failed to report the income.

Cunningham’s manger described him to the investigator as a good employee who got along well with peers and supervisors. He was also reportedly a top fundraiser and interacted well with customers as a cashier. He has no prior criminal record.

A pre-sentence and psychiatric report indicated a tough upbringing for Cunningham including childhood sexual abuse which resulted in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He also suffers from cannabis abuse and alcohol abuse disorders and was using crack cocaine during the time he was not reporting his income, his defence counsel said.

Cunningham was sentenced to three months of house arrest and three months on a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. as well as nine months of probation.

For restitution, $31,245.26 will be taken off Cunningham’s disability cheques until the amount is paid.

Just Posted

Apex hosting Canadian selections mogul event

Apex Freestyle Club along with some local competitors from the B.C. Freestyle Ski team are competing

Video: Update one man arrested in Okanagan Falls

The RCMP has requested the school go into lockdown

Christmas hamper volunteers pitch in to give back to Penticton

Volunteers begin work in preparation for Salvation Army hamper distribution

New acting vice principal for Penticton Secondary School

The Board of Education of School District No. 67 (Okanagan Skaha) announced a new appointment

TGIF: South Okanagan events

Live theatre, concerts, events, art exhibits and more from around the South Okanagan

What’s happening

Find out about the events happening in your community this weekend

Interior Health holding immunization clinic in Vernon Saturday

IH issues list of Okanagan meningococcal immunization clinics

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Michaels: Big Brother has become a big letdown

“You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide, but privacy should still have some appeal.”

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

Accused Shuswap drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

Most Read