Sentenced for defrauding SFU and Cultus Lake Park Board
An Abbotsford man has been sentenced to another five years in jail for defrauding both Simon Fraser University (SFU) and the Cultus Lake Park Board (CLPB).
Siamak Saidi, 55, was sentenced May 1 in Vancouver provincial court to a total of six years – five years for the SFU crimes and one year for the CLPB offence – but was given one year credit for time already served.
He previously pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud over $5,000 and one count of forgery over $5,000.
Saidi was also ordered to pay restitution of $50,000 to SFU and about $10,500 to the park board.
He was a chartered accountant with SFU in Burnaby from June 2010 until he was terminated in January 2012 due to restructuring.
A new manager noticed some irregularities in Saidi's record-keeping, according to court documents.
An RCMP investigation revealed that Saidi had submitted and endorsed false invoices to SFU for supplies ordered from six companies for which he has been listed as a director.
SFU had neither ordered nor received any of the supplies, and it was discovered that Saidi had used the $847,000 in misappropriated funds to purchase properties, make improvements to properties and pay for mortgages.
Three properties – in Belcarra, Burnaby and Abbotsford – were listed as having benefited from the funds.
Saidi was charged in August 2013, but prior to that, he was hired as the CLPB's manager of financial services.
He was placed on forced leave from that job when the SFU fraud charges were laid.
At that time, the park board did not find that any unauthorized financial transactions by Saidi had taken place.
It was later discovered that, while working for the CLPB, Saidi misrepresented his professional credentials by using the chartered management accountant (CMA) designation, although he was not qualified to do so.
An external audit later revealed that, in October 2012, Saidi had diverted a harmonized sales tax refund for the CLPB into a trust account that he controlled.
He was charged with that offence on March 17 of this year.
SFU also launched a civil suit against Saidi and won an order in December granting that he pay back the $847,000 that he fraudulently obtained.
The court ordered that both the Burnaby and Belcarra properties be sold and the net proceeds turned over to SFU.