First Nations committee wants answers in regards to a fraud scandal involving misappropriation of funds

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Indigenous leaders say they need to be reassured that a government appointee who stole $1.2 million from a children’s nutrition program in the northern Ontario Kashechewan Cree community isn’t cheating other communities.

“We have a right to know that,” Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation said after the Assembly of First Nations discussed the case of Giuseppe (Joe) Crupi, former co-manager for the Kashechewan First Nation near James Bay in Northern Ontario.

Crupi, who lives in Thunder Bay, pleaded guilty last month to two counts of fraud over $5,000 for stealing federal funding earmarked for children’s breakfast programs in Kashechewan between 2007 and 2012.

Crupi still faces other charges related to his handling of money meant for the Indigenous community between 2007 and 2012, including uttering forged documents, laundering the proceeds of crime and possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000.

Fiddler made his comments in an interview after the Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs Assembly passed a motion in Ottawa calling on the federal government to develop an oversight mechanism to monitor and act upon suspected cases of fraud by managers like Crupi.

Fiddler noted that Crupi was appointed by the federal government, not the Cree community. Fiddler said he has heard troubling reports that Crupi may also have had control of funding at other First Nations reserves.

Read the full story over at The Toronto Star.

This story was summarized by Canadian Fraud News Inc.