ANTIGONISH: The former finance director of the Coady International Institute, who pleaded guilty to misappropriating more than $200,000, has received a conditional sentence along with probation.

During an appearance in Antigonish Provincial Court on October 5, James Edward Marlow, 55, of Lower South River received a conditional sentence of house arrest for of two-years-less-a-day, 12-months of probation, and 223-hours of community service.

Marlow originally faced charges of theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000.

After pleading guilty to stealing $223,273 from the Coady International Institute, the Crown withdrew the fraud charge during an election-and-plea hearing in Antigonish Provincial Court in November 2019.

Court documents reveal that Marlow admits he forged invoices, requisitioned cheques and then deposited the money into his personal account.

Marlow neither admits nor denies the amount of misappropriated funds alleged by the university, in his statement of defense. He has since paid the restitution.

In July 2018, when the school’s auditor notified staff a vendor had received payment for an invoice it hadn’t issued, the university began an investigation.

Andrew Beckett, StFX’s vice-president of finance and administration, stated in his affidavit the invoices read “hold for pickup” so the cheques wouldn’t be mailed to the vendors. Marlow would then pick the cheques up personally, or have them delivered to him by a staff member.

Despite the clear instruction to “hold for pickup,” the attention of the auditor had been flagged when one cheque had inadvertently been mailed to the vendor.

RCMP arrested Marlow without incident on September 27, 2018 and charged him five days later on October 2.