Property manager pleads guilty to $262,000 breach of trust
CBC News
By Blair Rhodes
07 March 2018

Iris Procenko was the owner of Maritime Property Management. (Facebook)

A Halifax-area property manager has pleaded guilty to one count of breach of trust involving more than $260,000 on what was supposed to be the opening day of an eight-day trial.

Iris Doreen Procenko, 52, pleaded guilty to the "unlawful conversion of funds" during a brief appearance Wednesday morning in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax. She is to be sentenced in June.

She was facing 15 charges, including 14 counts of fraud. The fraud charges will be dealt with at sentencing.

Procenko owned and operated two companies, Secure Property Management and Maritime Property Management, that provided services to condo corporations and building owners.

In 2013, clients started complaining they weren't getting the required financial statements from Procenko and her companies. Concerned, some condo corporations started their own investigations.

Money going into company account
According to an agreed statement of facts introduced at Wednesday's court appearance, those investigations revealed that money that was supposed to be deposited in reserve or contingency fund accounts for various clients was instead going into the account of Maritime Property Management.

The investigation showed that the deposits were made without the required authorizations. Sometimes, there were just cheques with Procenko's signature on them, instead of the required signatures of two members of the condo boards. In other cases, cheques were deposited with no signatures on them.

Police started investigating Procenko's activities in March 2014. They hired a forensic accountant to look into her activity.

The accountant determined that more than $230,000 was forwarded from Procenko's corporate accounts to a payroll company, Ceridian Canada.

The accountant found the money came from six condo corporations in the form of rent and damage deposits. Instead, Ceridian used it to pay salaries of Procenko's employees.

Four individuals also lost a total of $32,866.

Jail time likely
Crown prosecutor Roland Levesque said the forensic audit gave the Crown a very strong case.

"I believe defence counsel obviously felt it would have been in his client's best interest to resolve the matter," he said.

Levesque said he had been negotiating with Procenko's lawyer, Alfred Seaman, for days leading up to the plea agreement. Seaman has requested a pre-sentence report for his client.

Both lawyers said there will likely be a joint sentencing recommendation. Levesque said that recommendation is expected to mean Procenko will spend time behind bars.

"When there's a breach of trust involved it's not uncommon to have a term of incarceration," Levesque said.

Even before her criminal charges, a CBC News investigation discovered Procenko was on the losing end of more than a dozen judgments in small claims court totalling more than $123,000.

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