A 51 year old Thunder Bay man is going to jail for three years after pleading guilty to two counts of fraud against the Kashechewan First Nation and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.
Federal Prosecutor Mark Seebaran says the sentence they reached today will make an example of Giuseppe (Joe) Crupi.
"Even where as with Mr. Crupi, you have an individual with no previous criminal record the sentence must send that message to others, it has to serve as an example of how the courts will treat these large scale frauds."
Crupi has to pay a $335,000 dollar fine after he is released from jail and has ten years to do it. If he is unable to pay that money back he could spend another 3 years in jail.
That amount will also go towards paying back over $650,000 to Kashechewan First Nation.
Court heard that Crupi used the money he took to build two houses and purchase two BMWs. The money from the sale of the houses and that was stolen is no longer in his bank account.
Seebaran told reporters "Mr. Crupi was sentenced for two things. The half that he caused the First Nation to lose and the approximately one quarter that he took for himself."
$1.2 million in government money was set aside for the community's breakfast program.
Crupi told the Judge that he would never have thought he would be in this situation and that he is ashamed of his actions. He also apologized to everyone he has caused grief.
Court also heard that six months before the thefts took place Crupi had received an absolute discharge of bankruptcy.
Justice Dino DiGiuseppe said that Crupi's early plea is an indication of remorse.
Crupi won't be able to work or volunteer for five years with any First Nation, Inuit or Metis group dealing with their finances. (File photo)