Fraud trial underway for woman who allegedly embezzled millions
The fraud trial of Alena Pastuch is officially underway after several delays. She’s accused of money laundering, fraud over $5,000 and theft over $5,000.
On Monday, Pastuch pleaded not guilty to all charges against her.
The Crown alleges Pastuch committed the crimes between roughly 2006 and 2013, defrauding dozens of people in the process.
The first witness called by the Crown was RCMP Staff Sergeant Jason Sauve, the lead investigator on the case.
His testimony started Monday and continued Tuesday, taking court through nearly 100 financial and banking documents allegedly passed between Pastuch and various investors she’s accused of defrauding.
The documents include scans of signed cheques from investors for amounts anywhere between $1 and $60 thousand each, some written out to several companies the Crown accuses Pastuch of running money through, along with some Sauve testified moved money through Pastuch’s personal bank account.
Sauve referred to many of these cheques as “ponzi payments” and the total amount of money involved here is in the millions of dollars.
During the examination Pastuch would often stop the witness to ask questions to both the Crown and the judge about aspects of some of the presented evidence, court procedure and other clarifications.
This is just the start of what is expected to be a long-running trial, as the first witness is expected to be on the stand through the end of this week, and the total trial is scheduled for three months. In that time court will hear from a number of witnesses including many of the investors involved in the alleged fraud.