On March 27, 2018, Opaskwayak RCMP received a report of a potential fraud that had occurred at Opaskwayak Education Services (OES).
The Manitoba RCMP worked closely with the OES and undertook a three-year investigation which included a forensic audit of OES finances. It was determined that between March 1, 2017, and March of 2018, the OES was defrauded of over $450,000, by four suspects, who were all employees of the OES.
On May 20, 2020, RCMP laid charges of Fraud against:
- Marie(Christine) Campbell, 50, from Opaskwayak Cree Nation
- Wilfred Harris, 59, from Opaskwayak Cree Nation
- Carmen Zolinski, 37, from Opaskwayak Cree Nation
- Anita Ballantyne, 51, from Opaskwayak Cree Nation
"This was a very long and complex investigation," said Corporal Sheldon Martens of The Pas General Investigative Section. "These four accused were in control of the financial department of OES and we believe they used their positions of authority within the organization to purposefully commit fraud. By working together and through the use of a wide variety of financial trickery and deception, over $450,000 was siphoned from the OES."
Anita Ballantyne, Christine Campbell and Wilfred Harris, have been arrested and charged, and will be appearing in court on August 11, 2020.
Carmen Zolinski is still outstanding and has a warrant for her arrest. She is currently residing in another province.
The RCMP would like to thank Opaskwayak Cree Nation for their assistance on this investigation.