Cultus Lake Park Board's manager of financial services is facing serious charges of fraud from his previous position with Simon Fraser University (SFU).
SFU alleges that Siamak Saidi defrauded the school of more than $800,000, using the misappropriated funds to buy three properties.
In a statement issued Thursday morning, the Cultus Lake Park Board (CLPB) said staff have not found any unauthorized financial transactions after they completed a review of accounts and investments.
Saidi is now on leave until further notice.
"Given that this issue is now before the courts and involves a human resources matter on our end, I cannot give you further comment," Peter told the Times.
Siadi was hired by the CLPB after the previous manager, Rebecca Johnson, resigned acrimoniously after claiming commissioner and then park board chair Bob McRea had bullied her and other staff.
The Burnaby university says that Saidi, while employed as director of finance for the science faculty, prepared and submitted to SFU for payment more than 500 invoices from companies in which he was a director.
The money paid out was then used by Saidi, who is currently a chartered accountant, to buy three properties, says a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court.
The results of an internal audit by SFU were turned over to the RCMP in 2012 and Saidi has been charged with fraud over $5,000, theft over $5,000, forgery and using forged documents. He is scheduled for an appearance on the criminal charges in Vancouver provincial court Wednesday morning.
The civil lawsuit says that Saidi was employed by SFU prior to June 2010 until his termination in January 2012, when his job became redundant as a result of a restructuring.
A new manager who took over Saidi's responsibilities for general budgeting and general ledger matters noticed irregularities in the accounts, it says.
Saidi was a director in each of the companies that received moneys paid out and the registered office for the companies was Saidi's residential address, says the lawsuit. Three properties—in Burnaby, Belcarra and Abbotsford—were either acquired by Saidi during the time that the false invoices were issued and paid by SFU or were subject to mortgage financing for which he was responsible, says the suit.
The university is seeking to reclaim from Saidi a total of $846,926 and seeking an order that Saidi be restrained from selling, mortgaging, transferring or otherwise disposing of the properties.
SFU also seeks to have him disclose all of his assets and the assets of the companies in question.
Saidi could not be reached for comment. A notice of civil claim contains allegations that have not been proven.
- with files from Keith Fraser, the Province
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