Blue Pelletier, a former student council president at the Saskatoon campus of the First Nations University of Canada, has been convicted of fraud and theft relating to an estimated $30,000 in missing funds that had been earmarked for the student body.
"This has not been an easy verdict for me to reach," judge Gerry Allbright said as he found Pelletier guilty. Allbright said Pelletier had accomplished a lot in his life and the fraud was "no doubt, in my mind, an aberration." If it weren't for that, Allbright said, Pelletier would have gone to jail.
Pelletier received an 18 month conditional sentence to be served in the community. He'll have a curfew of 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. and will have to repay $20,000 to the students' union, based on the court's estimate of how much money is owed.
According to evidence heard during his trial, Pelletier, 31, wrote a series of cheques to himself from a student council account between August 2006 and February 2007.
Pelletier claimed the money was for him to pay various council bills. However he could not provide details to account for all the funds.
He said the council had "a lackadaisical way of doing things" when it came to keeping records.
During the trial it was also learned many records of the council, including minutes of meetings, were missing.
Three members of the student council testified that Pelletier told them he used the money for personal expenses, including a car and furniture.
They said Pelletier apologized and asked for time to pay the money back.
Pelletier testified he didn't make those statements.
The judge said there would have to be a conspiracy between the three former council members to make such similar statements and he didn't believe that happened.
FNUC has its main campus in Regina and satellite campuses in Saskatoon and Prince Albert.