Simon Fraser University sues Abbotsford man, alleging fraud

The civil suits claims that Siamak Saidi misappropriated almost $850,000 while he was a finance director at the university.

Simon Fraser University (SFU) is suing an Abbotsford man who is alleged to have fraudulently obtained almost $850,000 from the university while he was the director of finance in the faculty of science.

In the notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, SFU alleges that chartered accountant Siamak Saidi, 54, submitted and endorsed false invoices to the institution for supplies ordered from six companies for which he is listed as director.

The claim states that SFU neither ordered nor received any of the supplies.

The institution alleges that Saidi, whose residence is listed in Abbotsford, used the misappropriated funds to purchase properties, make improvements to properties, and pay for mortgages.

The court documents list three properties – in Belcarra, Burnaby and Abbotsford – as having allegedly benefited from the funds.

Saidi was employed with SFU from June 2010 until he was terminated in January 2012 due to restructuring.

A new manager noticed some irregularities in Saidi’s record-keeping, according to the court documents.

An RCMP investigation led to Saidi being charged earlier this month with fraud over $5,000, theft over $5,000, forgery and using a forged document. His next appearance in Vancouver provincial court on the criminal charges is scheduled for today (Thursday).

The civil suit states that Saidi’s alleged actions have damaged the university.

“Saidi’s wrongful conduct was directed at SFU for the purpose of causing harm and loss to SFU or to gain improper personal benefit for himself or for others as directed by him, and with the knowledge of Saidi that his actions would, or would likely, cause harm to SFU.”

Saidi is currently on leave from his position as manager of financial services with the Cultus Lake Park Board.

The board released a statement, saying they had reviewed all their accounts and investments and found that no unauthorized transactions had taken place.

The university is seeking total compensation of $846,926. An order has been granted to freeze Saidi’s assets, including the three properties in question.

The allegations in the civil claim have not yet been proved in court nor has Saidi yet filed a response.