Forensic audit of Shubenacadie fraud probe complete
Few answers in financial mystery involing hundreds of thousands of dollars
Members of the Shubenacadie Band now have some answers to a long-standing financial mystery.
The band announced the results of a forensic audit Saturday into hundreds of thousands of dollars that went missing under a previous administration.
Information about alleged theft and fraud have already emerged from the Shubenacadie Band.
Former financial manager Jeffrey Cecil Hayes, 48, faces charges of theft and fraud over $5,000. Prosecutors allege as much as $170,000 was siphoned away from band coffers and that the victim of that fraud is the Shubenacadie First Nation.
Hayes was fired as the Shubenacadie band's financial director in 2012.
Hayes was charged earlier this year with possession of the proceeds of crime in connection to his work at the Shubenacadie band. Police seized a luxury home in Halibut Bay, near Halifax, and several vehicles in connection with that investigation.
Current band Coun. Michael Patrick Sack is accused of perjury and possession of proceeds of crime.
Only a couple of dozen band members showed at the community hall at Indian Brook to hear the news Saturday.
“I wish there were more band members. But I figure they're looking at what the end results will be,” said Chief Rufus Copage.
The meeting was closed to those outside of the band.
But afterwards band members spoke of the $790,000 missing, with band records in disarray.
Missing invoices and incomplete ledgers make it impossible for auditors to determine how much more money may be actually be gone.
Director of operations Nathan Sack said policies have changed so this won't be repeated.
“There's a lot of checks and balances in place right now. And if the rules and the policies are honoured as they should be, this should not happen,” he said.
While the chief and council wrestles with the question of what to do next, an RCMP spokesperson said an investigation by the commercial crime unit is still moving forward.