In the ongoing saga that is the First Nations University of Canada (FNUC), a former employee who stole more than $21,000 to feed a gambling problem was given a conditional sentence this week from a Regina judge. A fraud charge was dropped in exchange for the woman’s guilty plea.
A former clerk in the finance department, Janet Kurtz, 44, was charged in 2008 after an RCMP investigation into suspicious financial activity. It was discovered that between August 2004 and June 2005, Kurtz falsified records of travel and other monetary advances of eight employees. The records did not include receipts for expenses, and when the other employees were confronted on the matter, they said they were never issued the advances in question.
Kurtz took stress leave in August 2005, when FNUC was undergoing a financial audit. She officially quit in October after working at the institution for 10 years, and has since relocated to Toronto. Her lawyer told the judge that “She does acknowledge that she had a gambling problem.” Kurtz has been handed a 15 month conditional sentence that includes 240 hours of community service, and orders to repay the money she stole.