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September 12, 2002 Warrant issued for Navidad's arrest



by P.A.Sevigny

A warrant has been issued for the immediate arrest of Sheryll Navidad, a former vice-president of Concordia’s Student Union (CSU).

Navidad, a part-time commerce student, is accused of having defrauded the CSU of over $196,000 dollars over three years ago. She was appointed to her executive position by the CSU’s former president, Rob Green.

Sergeant Detective Ginette Leduc is the SPVM’s police officer who investigated the case. She said that the CSU’s forensic accounting report provided much of the evidence against Navidad.

“When are people ever going to learn not to sign blank cheques?” asked Leduc.

The fraud was a simple affair. Back in the summer of 2000, then-president Green signed dozens of blank cheques and handed them over to Navidad before going on vacation. Navidad is accused of having made the cheques out to herself, and of having forged the names of the recipients once the cheques were returned by the bank.

The CSU’s bookkeeper discovered the fraud a few weeks later. He alerted Green and the student executive shortly before the students were to vote on the CSU’s union accreditation. Many believe that the student executives kept the developing scandal quiet because they wanted to win the CSU’s accreditation drive.

Green later admitted that he had been conned by his own vice-president. He never offered to resign over the incident, nor did he offer any kind of apology to the student body for the loss of their money.

After a number of delays, Navidad was finally charged with the fraud, and a court date was set for the end of last February. When Navidad failed to appear, the judge issued a nationwide warrant for her arrest.

“Oh, don’t worry,” said Michel Francoeur, “we always catch up to them sooner or later.” Francoeur works in the warrants office (section mandats) at Montreal’s Palais de Justice.

Piles of assorted files cover his desk. He said that more and more people were skipping their court dates because they thought they could run away from their problems. Canada’s integrated police data and resource bank have put an end to that idea. Francoeur said that any kind of police identification check displays the warrant, and the subject is immediately arrested.

“They get pulled over in Toronto for having run a stop sign, and their name shows up on the squad car’s computer,” he said. “They get arrested on the spot, they go to jail, and we have to go get them. That doesn’t look good when they finally go before the judge.”

He doubts if Concordia’s student union will ever see their money again, and he thinks that the university’s students are going to wait a long time before they see any kind of justice being done.

“The trouble is that the jails are full,” said Francoeur. “There are lots of people who should be put in there, but they will just have to wait their turn.”