The accountant who is alleged to have defrauded the Whitecap Dakota First Nation out of millions of dollars has turned himself in after it was believed he fled the country.
Hugo Gallegos appeared this morning in a Saskatoon courtroom, where he is facing charges of theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000.
RCMP had been unable to track Gallegos down and had issued a Canada-wide warrant for his arrest. He came back to Saskatoon from El Salvador to answer to the charges
His lawyer, Morris Bodnar, said his client returned to Canada even though he didn't have to. Bodnar said Gallegos wants to respond to the charges.
"He's going to deal with the matter and get it over with," Bodnar said. "That's why he came back."
Bodnar said his client wasn't arrested at the airport because the Crown notified authorities.
When asked whether anyone else was involved, Bodnar said, "we'll wait and see."
The Crown consents to Gallegos' release, but he must surrender his passport.
Chief Darcy Bear announced at a press conference in September that the First Nation was missing more than $1-million.
"I would be lying if I said I'm not angry," Bear said at the time. "I feel absolutely furious. But being angry won't do us any good right now. What we need to do is take the steps to assist the police to gather evidence and to recover whatever funds we can."
The First Nation notified Saskatoon RCMP of the missing money early last month. Bear had said that the lost money has impacted the First Nation's cash flow.