The Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board (PSLREB) has ruled convicted fraudsters cannot work for the Canadian government, according to Blacklock’s Reporter. The decision came on the appeal of a former Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) manager fired and jailed for pocketing thousands in a grant scheme. “He was involved in the scheme,” said PSLREB adjudicator Chantal Homier-Nehme in a ruling. “Fraud in itself is a breach of the Values and Ethics Code.” Homier-Nehme called the bond of trust “irreparably broken.” “The risk of recidivism is too high,” she said. Former ESDC manager Roger Klouvi was found guilty of six counts of fraud and conspiracy. Klouvi was jailed two years less a day by a Quebec judge. Once Klouvi was released, he petitioned the PSLREB for his job back as a regional advisor in ESDC’s Montreal office. He was a former president of the local Togolese community association. Evidence showed he boasted to friends they could receive grants without doing the needed planning activities and that they could share the money. Conspirators opened bank accounts in the names of fictitious groups such as the Development and Recreation Association or Social Development Club to run seniors’ aid programs for Togolese-Canadian pensioners. They submitted applications to the New Horizons for Seniors grant program complete with forged endorsements. Homier-Nehme said Klouvi was the inside mastermind, falsifying activity reports with photographs of non-existent seniors’ programs that received taxpayers’ grants. She said he was “very familiar with the grant approval system.”Evidence showed fake applications resulted in an $18,000 grant in 2008. The scheme was repeated in 2010 for separate grants ranging from $22,175 to $24,000. Court records suggested the fraud totalled $180,000. “According to Service Canada, the facts gathered indicate that the grievor was involved in the management of just over 15 grant projects for the New Horizons for Seniors program from April 2007 to April 2011 — the period during which the employer identified suspicious files,” said Homier-Nehme.“The employer maintains that the repetitive and prolonged nature of the grievor’s actions justifies the termination.”The fraud was uncovered when an ESDC investigator noted problematic similarities in grant applications. Forms submitted in the names of different community groups contained identical addresses for directors, telephone numbers, and wording.