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Former United Way employee accused of stealing money appears in Chatham court

Veronica Whittal, 48, made a court appearance in Chatham, Ont., on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024. (Travis Fortnum/CTV News Windsor) Veronica Whittal, 48, made a court appearance in Chatham, Ont., on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024. (Travis Fortnum/CTV News Windsor)
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The woman accused of defrauding a Chatham charity out of more than $300,000 made her first court appearance Monday.

Veronica Whittal, 48, of Tilbury is accused of stealing the money while serving as financial coordinator for the United Way of Chatham-Kent.

Irregularities in the books were first flagged by the charity’s former CEO, with police getting involved late last September.

Investigative efforts from the Chatham-Kent Police Service focused on financial records dated from October 2022 to October 2023.

As the criminal investigation got underway, the United Way announced civil action in October for the alleged misappropriation of funds — at the time, not identifying the employee suspected of wrongdoing.

It was Feb. 2 when Whittal was arrested and charged with fraud over $5,000 — a police spokesperson telling CTV News the amount in question was “in excess of $300,000.”

She was released from custody on a promise to appear in court on Feb. 26.

During that appearance, the court heard Whittal is still looking for a lawyer and intends to apply for legal aid.

She is scheduled to appear again on March 26.

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