Charges laid in Dene theft
Two Dene Nation employees face fraud charges

Terry Halifax
Northern News Services

NNSL (Oct 29/99) - The Dene Leadership Convention opened in Yellowknife yesterday, with chiefs calling for an in-camera meeting to discuss the theft of funds from the Dene National office in Yellowknife.

Liidli Kue First Nations Chief, Rita Cli, asked the leaders to address the issue as a priority.

"There have been charges laid here and it reflects on all Dene people," Cli said. "We are Dene and we should deal with this as Dene," she said. "It affects all of us."

According to Cpl. Darcy Fleury of the RCMP G Division's commercial crimes unit, two Yellowknife women have been charged in the theft of roughly $90,000 from the Dene National Office.

"Two former employees of the Dene Nation have been charged," Fleury confirmed.

The amount has yet to be determined, but Fleury said the crime was discovered through annual accounting at the Dene office.

"Overall, we're talking about $86,000 to $90,000," he said.

"It was discovered through an internal audit of the Dene Nation."

The women face one count each of fraud over $5,000, one count each of theft over $5,000 and one count each of the indictable offence of breach of trust.

The accused were released on their own recognisance until Dec. 14 for their first appearance in court.

As of press time Bill Erasmus, Dene National Chief refused to comment.