Former accountant for Saskatchewan First Nation, Hugo Gallegos, admitted to stealing money from the people he worked for and has now been sentenced to five years in prison.
From 2009-2013, Gallegos stole more than $5.8 million which helped fund his lavish lifestyle: high-class trips to Las Vegas, luxury gifts for friends, and an alleged $700 shopping spree for socks.
Though the sentencing included an order for restitution of the $5.8 million to the First Nation, people are skeptical they will ever recover the money from Gallegos.
Details of the charges came out in court; Gallegos had been writing checks to himself out of the First Nations accounts and then “fudged the books” to cover his tracks. Over a four year period, Gallegos wrote 1,785 checks.
According to inside sources, the impact on the victims was like taking $19,000 from every man, woman and child on the Whitecap Dakota First Nation.
After a 2013 audit caught wind of irregularities, Gallegos fled the country for his home country of El Salvador before returning of his own free will to deal with the consequences.
It is rumored that while working with the First Nation, Gallegos faced racism and discrimination because he is gay. As well, it is said he developed a gambling addiction and suffered from mental and physical challenges.