Former Squamish Nation council co-chair charged with fraud, theft

A former co-chair of the Squamish Nation council, who was fired after an investigation found nearly $1.5 million partly in her care had not been properly accounted for, has been charged with fraud and theft.

The nation confirmed on Friday that Krisandra Jacobs is facing criminal charges of fraud over $5,000 and theft over $5,000.

Jacobs was co-chair of the council until 2014.

That year, the Squamish Nation commissioned an investigation after an internal review raised concerns about cash disbursements made by Jacobs and elected band manager, Glen Newman.

Jacobs was fired from her administrative position and removed as co-chair, while Newman was removed from all authority over financial matters. Both were later removed from their elected positions.

“It is clear from the Report that proper financial process was not followed respecting the disbursement of emergency funds to members and a significant amount of money was unaccounted for, or was given out without proper documentation,” said the Squamish Nation in a media release at the time.

The independent third-party report, authored by lawyer Nazeer Mitha, was commissioned after the band conducted a review of checks issued by the Band Manager Services Department, and found discrepancies.

The report, which looked at the years 2012-2014, found that nearly $1.5 million was disbursed to Jacobs and Newman from the emergency fund, which is meant to be used to cover things such as food, rent or other urgent or unexpected situations.

It further found that there was little to no documentation of how any of the funds were spent. In November 2014, the matter was handed over to the RCMP.

The Squamish Nation says it is not further commenting on the case.

Jacobs appeared in court in North Vancouver on Friday.

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