Employee defrauded Waterloo Region non-profit refugee agency of $ 83,000

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KITCHENER – A non-profit organization helping government-assisted refugees settle in the Waterloo region has lost $ 83,000 in a complex fraud perpetrated by at least one of its employees.

Samuel Kay-Lukoji, 46, CFO of Welcome center Region of Waterloo at the time of the fraud, pleaded guilty on Friday in Kitchener court.

A woman who worked as a payroll administrator at the foster home was also implicated. The court was not informed of the status of these charges.

Much of the Kitchener organization’s operating funds come from community donations.

“Mr. Kay-Lukoji and (the co-accused) were trusted employees of the foster home,” said Crown Attorney Tricia Holmes. new Canadians.

“The allegation is obviously that they used these gifts for their personal benefit.”

Kay-Lukoji, who lives in Cambridge, opened fraudulent accounts and falsified loans as part of a complex scheme, the court was told.

“There has been an embezzlement of funds from donations,” Holmes said.

Kay-Lukoji, hired at Reception House in 2016, also started a business called Budd Bed and Accessories.

“This business had a surprisingly similar name to a business that existed in downtown Kitchener, a legitimate business, and this legitimate business in the past had been used by Reception House before the owner retired in January 2016, ”said Holmes.

The foster home donated $ 14,400 to Kay-Lukoji’s business.

“The funds had been paid directly to himself under the disguise of a legitimate expense,” said Holmes.

The fraud apparently continued for a long time and ended in early 2019.

Kay-Lukoji plans to return the reception house in full, we heard in court. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for February.

The foster home uses the donations to pay for things like backpacks filled with activity books and toys for newcomer children, and laptops and digital literacy classes for families.

The organization plays a role in a refugee task force that oversees resettlement efforts in the Waterloo region for people arriving from Afghanistan and other countries.

The Region of Waterloo is one of 34 government-assisted refugee resettlement locations in Canada. About 200 Afghan refugees have already arrived in the region.

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