(Former Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs financial director Gary Julius.)
By Jorge Barrera
APTN National News
The former director of finance for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs allegedly paid himself about $250,000 in cheques that were not properly authorized, according to a complaint submitted to Manitoba’s chartered accountants institute.
The complaint alleges that 23 of 30 cheques paid out to Gary Julius, the former director of finance for the AMC, did not have “the proper authorizations required” and that 16 of the 30 cheques did “not have any cheque requisitions,” according to the complaint filed by the AMC on April 22 with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba.
“They were just paid out to him on the invoices he provided,” said the complaint, obtained by APTN National News.
Julius, who held the position as director of finance from Dec. 15, 2008, to Sept. 7, 2011, was paid a total of $326,681. The complaint alleges that of that total, $250,287 “did not have the proper authorizations.”
The allegations around the payments are listed under the subhead “personal payments Mr. Julius made to himself that did not follow the AMC financial policy.”
The complaint lists three specific examples to back the allegations. The complaint alleges that “no one signed off” on a Jan 7, 2010 cheque to Julius for $13,510 and on a June 7, 2011 cheque for $13,440. It also alleges that Julius “signed off on one requisition and one invoice by himself” for an Aug. 6, 2009 cheque for $15,430.
Julius told APTN National News that the allegations were “unfounded.” He said he has provided a response to the allegations, but he would not supply APTN National News with a copy. Julius said he expected the chartered accountants institution to make a ruling on the complaint soon.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
The AMC did not have any comment.
Julius was once the Winnipeg Kinsmen’s president, vice-president and treasurer. He also served on the finance committee of the Manitoba Special Olympics’ board of directors and helped start the Winnipeg chapter of Operation Go Home, which is a charitable organization that helps street youth get home.
Julius was director of finance while former AMC grand chief Ron Evans was in power.
Evans could not be reached for comment.
APTN National News reported last week that, while Evans was in power, the AMC also borrowed over a million dollars from an education charity to pay its bills. An internal financial report found that the education charity had likely run afoul of Canada Revenue Agency rules as a result of the financial transactions with the AMC.
One of Julius’ jobs as director of finance was to “provide accounting and financial support for First Nations Education Trust Inc. account.” The complaint against Julius also alleges that he authorized the July 25, 2011 transfer of $295,000 from the education fund to the AMC to keep the organization’s bank account from getting into an overdraft position.
The fund was nearly drained of money by the times Evans left his post as grand chief. He took with him $87,853 in severance pay that the AMC says was unauthorized.
The issue of Evans’ severance pay, along with the use of funds from the education charities form part of a complaint launched by the AMC against Julius.
A second arms-length charity connected to the AMC had its registration revoked by the federal tax agency last month. The Tay Bway Win First Nations Justice Fund lost its charity registration because it had failed to file its return.
The AMC was warned by an internal financial report from BDO Canada in September 2011 that the Tay Bway Win fund was in danger of facing revocation as a result of $26,000 the charity spent on things outside of its mandate like football tickets, dinners, galas and sponsorships.
Julius was on the charity’s board of directors and its treasurer. Evans was also on the board.
The complaint alleges the justice charity, which was created to help people get access to legal services who couldn’t afford it, also failed to file any financial statements to the Manitoba government.
“The directors of Tay Bway Win Fund are also at risk as they can be held to the same standards in court as trustees of the trust,” said the complaint.