First Nation in Atlin, B.C., accuses former enterprise head of stealing $540K

First Nation in Atlin, B.C., accuses former enterprise head of stealing 0K

The Taku River Tlingit First Nation in Atlin, B.C. is suing the previous head of its enterprise arms, accusing him of embezzling greater than half one million {dollars} and depositing it into his private checking account.

In a civil lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court docket on Jan. 24, the First Nation claims that Peter Kirby, the previous president and CEO of Atlin Ltd., and Atlin Energy Ltd., misappropriated $540,249 in 4 separate transactions final July and August.

The First Nation alleges that Kirby then “purportedly” resigned from his posts with out discover on the finish of August.

The lawsuit states that Kirby didn’t disclose the funds, all allegedly made to himself, and that they “weren’t accepted by the Board or the Nation.” 

“Mr. Kirby’s conduct was deceitful and quantities to fraud,” the declare states.

Kirby has not but filed a response to the lawsuit and the allegations have but been examined in court docket.

Oversaw main hydroelectric venture

Kirby grew to become a outstanding public determine via his function main the First Nation’s enterprise arm, and the event of the Atlin hydroelectric venture. He was typically touted as a visionary chief who helped his small First Nation develop into vitality impartial.

He was additionally front-and-centre because the hydro enlargement venture received off the bottom. That venture, which might broaden the present two-megawatt hydropower facility in Atlin to a ten.5 megawatt facility, and export the brand new energy to Yukon’s vitality grid, received an $80-million increase final April from the Canada Infrastructure Financial institution.

Kirby, left, and Pure Assets Minster Jonathan Wilkinson look on as Yukon’s Minister of Vitality, Mines and Assets, John Streicker, feedback on the federal authorities’s newest funding of the Atlin Hydroelectric enlargement venture on April 11, 2022. Kirby was then president and CEO of the Tlingit Homeland Vitality, which owns the ability. (Vincent Bonnay/Radio-Canada)

The lawsuit says that the First Nation started a evaluation and investigation of its enterprise entities “in or round” Might 2022. It alleges that from then till August, the First Nation requested Kirby for monetary information of these companies, which he had in his possession, and that Kirby produced none.

Then, on Aug. 9, the First Nation says it issued a “Clan Directive,” for Kirby “and others” to supply these information, and that Kirby once more didn’t comply.

The declare alleges that lower than two weeks after that, on Aug. 22, Kirby secretly moved $500,000 from the checking account of Xeitl LP, one of many First Nation’s restricted partnerships, into the checking account of Atlin LP. 

There was “no professional motive” for this switch, the First Nation alleges.

“Fairly, it was made for the improper goal of facilitating Mr. Kirby’s misappropriation of funds from the plaintiffs,” the declare states.

The First Nation alleges that Kirby then wrote a cheque from Atlin LP to himself on Aug. 26 for $516,419.16, and deposited into his private checking account three days later.

Kirby can be accused of constructing three different improper funds to himself from Atlin LP: $1,265 on July 16, 2022, $5,064 on Aug. 22 and $17,500 on Aug. 29. He allegedly resigned as CEO of the businesses on Aug. 29, simply after that final cost was made, after which resigned as director and president the subsequent day.

The First Nation says it had no discover of his resignation.

It is asking the court docket to seek out Kirby responsible for the $549,249 in allegedly misappropriated funds, in addition to curiosity and damages for breach of fiduciary responsibility, conversion, fraud, negligence, and unjust enrichment.

No one from the Taku River Tlingit First Nation may very well be reached for touch upon Friday in regards to the lawsuit.

Kirby may additionally not be reached.


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