The tears of an office manager, who extracted nearly half a million dollars from a local dentist and used the cash to fund family vacations and invest in her children’s education, did not impress the judge.

“Let the record show the defendant is crying, and I regret that, but she has much to be ashamed of,” Justice Joseph De Filippis said Monday in the Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines.

Jennifer Leslie, a 37-year-old mother of two, cried as she was led away to begin serving a two-year prison sentence.

She pleaded guilty at an earlier date to a charge of fraud over $5,000 and returned to court Monday for sentencing.

Court was told that Leslie worked as a manager at dental offices in Fort Erie and Ridgeway. Starting in 2013, she made hundreds of unauthorized transactions and funnelled more than $420,000 into her personal bank accounts.

“There is no prospect of immediate restitution of any kind,” assistant Crown attorney Tim Hill told the judge.

“It’s difficult to imagine where all that money went.”

Some of it was used to fund family vacations, purchase a vehicle, invest in her children’s RESPs and gamble.

The dentist she worked for was forced to liquidate hundreds of thousands of dollars in investments to deal with the shortfall, court was told.

In a victim impact statement read into court, the dentist said he treated his employee like a member of his family.

“I can’t comprehend why she would do this to me,” he wrote. “I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.”

In addition to the prison sentence, Leslie was placed on probation for three years.