Regina (August 16, 2019) – Regina businesswoman, Alena Pastuch was sentenced to 7 years in prison for defrauding investors of $5.5 million between 2007 and 2009 on Friday. The judge suggested to let her serve her sentence partially in a psychiatric center, CBC reports.
Pastuch was found guilty of fraud, money laundering, and theft in June. During sentencing, the crown prosecutor suggested a 10-year prison term, whereas the defense attorneys were seeking a six-year term at a healing lodge.
In 2014, three individuals separately reported their fraudulent experience with Pastuch and how they were defrauded by her – in what later turned out to be a – multi-million dollar fraud scheme. Her victims invested in five dubious software companies in the computer security and child protection branch. Pastuch asked mainly family members and elderly individuals for the investments. The prosecutor said that the provided capital started at $10,000, but one investor contributed more than $1.2 million.
Instead of developing software, Pastuch spent the money on her personal expenses and paid for her lavish lifestyle, including traveling, gambling, and buying high-end real estate. In court, the prosecutor and the victims pointed out the massive financial consequences they had suffered due to the loss of their investments. Money was lost that was originally intended for retirement, or post-secondary education for their children, according to CBC.
The multi-million dollar case was called one of the largest frauds of its type by the Crown. It also was one of the longest trials in Saskatchewan’s history.