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Regina woman convicted of embezzling millions of dollars granted appeal, new trial ordered

File photo of the Court of King's Bench Court House in Regina. (Colton Wiens/CTV News) File photo of the Court of King's Bench Court House in Regina. (Colton Wiens/CTV News)

A Regina woman who was convicted in 2019 for embezzling millions of dollars has been granted her appeal and a new trial has been ordered.

In 2014, Alena Marie Pastuch was charged with fraud and money laundering for her role as the central player in an investment scheme beginning in 2006, which stole $5,523,507 from investors.

Following a lengthy trial, which began in October of 2018, Pastuch was found guilty of one count of fraud exceeding $5,000 in June 2019.

Documents presented at her trial included scans of signed cheques from investors for amounts anywhere between $1,000 and $60,000 each, some written out to several companies the Crown accused Pastuch of running money through.

Pastuch, who represented herself in one of the largest fraud cases in Saskatchewan’s history, was sentenced to seven years in prison and was ordered to pay restitution to all of the victims of the fraud.

Pastuch filed her appeal one week after being sentenced, claiming a miscarriage of justice and error in fact and law.

More specifically, the Court of Appeal Reserved Decision released on Oct. 5, 2022, states that Pastuch alleged that a trial judge denied her application for a court-appointed counsel to replace her lawyer who withdrew for ethical reasons.

“The decision denying that application was delivered on September 17, 2018 [Ruling]. As a result of that denial, Ms. Pastuch was obliged to represent herself in a complex trial that took 87 juridical days and in which the Crown called 78 witnesses,” the document read.

In addition, Pasruch had listed 30 grounds for her appeal, claiming the Crown improperly expressed opinions and misstated evidence used to convict her during the case.

A date has not been set for the new trial. Top Stories

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