Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Two charged after fraud uncovered

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A 60-year-old Winnipeg woman was arrested and charged with five counts of fraud over $5,000 after police uncovered an attempt to obtain $25,000 in government funding from The Homeless Partnership Strategy.

According to city police, the grant application was filed between July 2012 and March 2013 when, without authorization, an employee of the Main Street Project, which has charitable status, submitted false documents to support an application. The funds were ultimately to be used to benefit a personal business, police said.

The grant application was unsuccessful, however $25,000 was fraudulently diverted from the Main Street Project during the process. An audit of the charity’s book led to an investigation by the Winnipeg Police Service commercial crime unit.

Teresa Merle Sakiyama, 60, was charged with five counts of fraud over $5,000 on Sept. 24. Paul Elliot Nusgart, 74, was also charged with making a forged document.

Both have been released on a promise to appear.

This afternoon, Main Street Project executive director Lisa Goss said the organization contacted police and then cooperated fully as officers investigated.

"And we will continue to do so. Because this matter is before the courts we will have no further comments," she said.

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