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Errant FNUC Former Official Pleads Guilty to Fraud

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A former vice-president of finance and administration at First Nations University of Canada (FNUC) whose fiscal shenanigans nearly cost the school its funding has pleaded guilty to fraud in relation to financial irregularities between January and March 2005, CBC news reported.

Two years after being fired over the allegations of impropriety, Wesley Robert Stevenson, 60, pleaded guilty on June 9 in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Regina, Saskatchewan. He confessed to taking $15,000 that was supposed to fund an FNUC-sponsored trip to the Orkney Islands in Scotland and spending it on himself, calling them “coordinator fees,” according to Macleans. When he was fired for it, he contested the dismissal.

He had helped put together the September 2004 cultural-exchange trip to Scotland, CBC News reported, to explore the historical connections between the two peoples through the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Instead he told the federal government that the trip had had cost overruns, CBC News said. He now must do 75 hours of community service and a 12-month non-jail sentence.

The university almost lost its funding in 2010 because of Stevenson’s actions, but was saved at the last minute. This year it turned 35 and hired a new president, Doyle Anderson, who will take over August 1.