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Concordia money vanishes
By Aaron Wherry
Montreal police are investigating the disappearance of $196,000 from the Concordia Student Union's bank account.
Patrice Blay, chair of the Concordia Student Union, said the fraud was discovered Oct. 4, when a student union accountant attempted to check the CSU's finances at a local bank. According to Blay, the accountant discovered funds had been misappropriated and this launched a full review of the CSU's financial records.
After reviewing the CSU's finances, it was discovered approximately $196,000 was missing or unaccounted for in the CSU budget, Blay said.
The suspect, a former member of the CSU, was identified and is currently the object of an investigation by the Montreal Urban Community Police Department, Blay added, but the identity of the suspect is not being released until after the investigation has been concluded
Const. Christian Emond of the MUCPD, said the investigation was launched on Oct. 18, after an official complaint was received by the CSU. The investigation is ongoing and the MUCPD has refused to release any information until the investigation is over, he added.
Blay said he expects the investigation, as well as an independent forensic audit of the CSU, to be concluded by November. At that point, Blay said a full audit of the CSU's finances will take place and criminal charges may be laid.
In the mean time, he said, the fraud has caused large problems for the CSU, which functions on a $500,000 budget. "It's created a huge problem," he said. "It's delayed the budgets for clubs and other CSU organizations."
Blay said the short-term problems of budgeting are compounded by long- term complications concerning the recovery of the lost money. "We'll probably have to take out a loan because we're unlikely to recover the money. A long term solution needs to be worked out."
Dennis Boivert, dean of students at Concordia, said the administration was informed of the fraud at a meeting with the CSU on Oct. 12. He explained the administration was allowing the CSU to deal with the fraud investigation and resolution. "The student union is responsible for their own finances," he said.