A man who embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Seabird Island Band was a no-show for his sentencing hearing in Chilliwack provincial court on Tuesday.
Seabird Island Chief Clem Seymour, band councillors, staff and other members of the First Nation near Agassiz packed courtroom 203 on Tuesday to hear the sentence for Stephen Andrew MacKinnon who was charged with fraud, theft and forgery for incidents dating back more than a decade.
But the sentencing never happened.
Instead, MacKinnon’s lawyer Darrel Schultz appeared in front of the judge to say he had been fired by his client and he was unaware of the 48-year-old’s whereabouts.
MacKinnon, who lives in Chilliwack, was charged with one count each of fraud over $5,000, theft over $5,000, forgery, and using a forged document.
The most serious offences, forgery and using a forged document, come each with a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.
MacKinnon pleaded guilty in July to the charges dating back to July 15, 2005.
According to Seabird members, MacKinnon did work setting up computer systems for the band.
How much money went missing over the years didn’t come out in court since the sentencing didn’t happen, but at least two members say he is accused by some of taking millions of dollars.
What he is convicted of embezzling is closer to the half-million-dollar range, according to band members.
Black Press reached out to MacKinnon’s wife via social media but she declined to respond to questions over his whereabouts.