Former Kamloops Metis youth housing manager sued for embezzling grant funds | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Former Kamloops Metis youth housing manager sued for embezzling grant funds

A Kamloops woman is being sued for misappropriating grant funds intended for Indigenous youth.

Lii Michif Otipemisiwak filed the claim against former employee Seanna Proulx, which details how she funnelled more than $30,000 in grant funding into her own bank accounts.

Her former employer claims Proulx received a grant from Canada Roots Exchange intended for youth programs, but lied to management when she claimed it was no longer needed, according to court documents.

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Instead of returning the funds, as she claimed to have done, she kept them for herself and later applied for additional funding. That funding from Canadian Roots Exchange also made its way to Proulx's hands, for a total of $37,500 in embezzled funds.

The money was intended for youth programming at the Kikekyelc: A Place of Belonging housing facility, where she had been working for nearly four years. Kikekyelc is a 31-unit condo for Elders and youth aging out of care, and it operates as a culturally safe space for those at risk of homelessness.

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It's not the first time the disbarred lawyer has allegedly embezzled funds. Formerly known as Seanna McKinley, Proulx was disbarred in B.C. for professional misconduct in 2020 after she stole hundreds of thousands from her clients, according to the Law Society of B.C.

Proulx was hired by the Kamloops non-profit in September 2018, and the law society began its investigation into Proulx by at least October of that year.

She continued to work for the non-profit for more than three years until she was fired on Jan. 26, 2022, according to the civil claim. She got more than $12,000 in her severance package.

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The civil claim against Proulx alleges she was mistakenly paid severance, but it does not explain why she was fired.

Lii Michif Otipemisiwak Family and Community Services Society is seeking the repayment her severance and the grant funding, along with additional costs for damages and fraud.

The claim was filed, Friday, March 25, and Proulx has 21 days from then to respond, which to date she has not.

The non-profit's claims against her have not been proven in court.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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