Concordia's Thursday Report

Vol. 29, No.5

November 4, 2004


One-time CSU executive convicted of $196,000 fraud

By P.A. Sévigny

On Sept. 10, Sheryll Navidad was sentenced by Justice Gilles Garneau to serve a three-year suspended sentence for having stolen more than $196,000 from the Concordia Student Union.

Navidad, a former CSU (Concordia Student Union) vice-president, must serve at least 20 months of the three-year sentence under house arrest, perform a minimum of 150 hours of community work and pay back the money she stole from the CSU.

The court also insists that she provide proof of payment to the court's clerk that is equivalent to at least 20 per cent of her monthly salary. The house arrest is to be served at her Toronto residence under the supervision of the Ontario justice department.

Last year, when Navidad missed her court date, a bench warrant was issued for her arrest. In February 2004,Sergeant-Detective Ginette Leduc of the Montreal fraud squad tracked her down at her new Toronto address, Leduc went to Toronto, arrested her, and brought her back to Montreal.

“She was a bit surprised when we showed up at her door,” said Leduc, “but she came along quietly. She didn't have much to say.”

In a previous interview, Leduc said there was little doubt as to who committed the fraud and how it was done.

While the simplicity of the fraud annoyed Leduc, she was also amazed as to how Navidad could get away with it for as long as she did.

Patrice Blais, the interim president of the CSU who ran the student union after the Sabrina Stea's CSU executive was expelled from office, agreed with Leduc. Long after the fraud had been discovered, he was still finding bills for items Navidad had bought with the stolen money.

“She spent thousands of dollars on liposuction treatments,” he said.
News of the theft was not revealed until the results of a referendum to accredit the CSU as a union had been made public.

Navidad, as VP finance, and Rob Green, as president, had signing authority for CSU cheques. She is the only member of the executive to have been tried, convicted and sentenced for the fraud.

Green claimed to be a victim when the theft was revealed. He did not apologize to the students or offer to resign.