Meghan Melnyk pleads guilty to bank robbery
Former SAMRU president ‘very remorseful’
Former president of the Students’ Association of Mount Royal University, Meghan Melnyk, 28, plead guilty to charges of bank robbery on Aug. 1 and then apologized to the university for her actions.
She also plead guilty to charges of fraud under $5,000 in a case related to a stolen purse and breach of probation.
Melnyk said she was addicted to gambling and the university’s close proximity to the casino was a problem.
“I lost control of who I was,” she said outside court in August.
On Feb. 29, Melynk entered the Servus Credit Union at 5303 68 Ave S.E, disguised with a toque and sunglasses. She passed a note to the teller indicating she was armed and demanded cash.
The teller handed her $6,180 in an envelope along with a dye pack and bait bills. Melnyk left in a silver PT Cruiser. Staff noted the license plate and called 911.
Police arrested her later that day for robbery, possession of a prohibited weapon and committing an indictable offense while disguised. The former president was alone in her vehicle with her German shepherd dog. An envelope containing the money, sunglasses and a butterfly knife were found in the car.
The robbery occurred a month after Melnyk unexpectedly resigned from her post as SAMRU president, following a routine performance review that uncovered “financial anomalies.”
In the days following Melnyk’s sudden and unexplained departure, SAMRU VP external Michelle Dennis told students, “Council did not have sufficient confidence that its highest standards had been applied.”
They refused to give further details on Melnyk’s resignation, citing legal obligations. SAMRU assisted police in their investigation by providing them with files on Melnyk in preparation for her bail hearing on March 7.
During her bail hearing, defense lawyer Derek Lovatt told the court that Melnyk was under a large amount of stress from serving on 32 committees and that she was “insolvent and completely burnt out.” Stress and her addiction to gambling were pressures that led her to commit the robbery, according to Lovatt.
Melnyk was granted a $6000 bail and forced to live under house arrest. She was also barred from coming within 100 metres of MRU.
The former SA president must undergo psychological testing prior to sentencing.