Fraudsters repay public debt
Saskatchewan's Tory fraud scandal has netted more than just convictions. The criminal cases have also generated slightly more than $130,000 worth of restitution orders, most of which have been paid by the convicts involved.
The clerk of the Saskatchewan legislature, Gwen Ronyk, is tracking the court-ordered payments. The total for the 11 legislators who were convicted in the fraud case is $132,000. So far, half that amount -- $65,000 -- has been paid back.
The repayment figures range from a low of $2,900 (paid in full by Beattie Martin) to $23,000 (also paid in full, by Harry Baker). The only one who hasn't paid is Michael Hopfner. He owes $56,000. As well, a Tory caucus worker, John Scraba, has not made good on his restitution order.
Ronyk says she'll wait until all court cases are finished, before making any moves to collect outstanding money. "We will then make a decision and act on them all at one time, rather than do them piece-meal," Ronyk explained. "Perhaps by then, they will be paid," she added.
In addition to the restitution payments, other money connected to the scandal has been repaid to the legislature. During one trial, it was estimated that the total amount alleged to have been taken illegally was a little more than a million dollars. When everything is added together, taxpayers have been paid back about half of what was stolen from them.
Payments ordered by the courts:
- Bob Andrew $4,225
- Joan Duncan $12,405
- Grant Hodgins $3,645
- Harold Martens $5,850
- Ray Meiklejohn $4,500
- Harry Baker $22,545
- Sherwin Peterson $9,285
- Beattie Martin $2,900
- John Gerich $12,264 (approx. $4,800 paid so far)
- Michael Hopfner $56,000
- John Scraba $12,000 (Tory caucus worker)
Amounts connected to the Tory Fraud Scandal, returned to Legislature:
- From PC Party $125,000
- From Safety Deposit Boxes $240,000
- From "secret" caucus account $69,000