Court heard the Fond du Lac Denesuline First Nation had a surplus of $1.8 million when Napoleon Mercredi took office in late 2009 but was running monthly deficits of about $200,000 by the time his term ended two years later.

The former chief is on trial for fraud and allegedly misappropriating more than $400,000 in-band funds from 2009 to 2011.

Under questioning from Crown prosecutor Darren Howarth Wednesday, former Fond du Lac CEO Darryl McDonald said during Mercredi’s tenure economic development funds from the Prince Albert Grand Council stopped being recorded in official band financial statements.

When he inquired with PAGC about the funds, McDonald said he was told to “ask the chief.”

Court also heard Mercredi received personal payments from the First Nation recorded in accounts receivable for $197,000.

Ten of thousands of dollars of band funds were paid out as well to personal family, friends and acquaintances with no specific reasons ever given, according to McDonald.

The trial, which is taking place at Prince Albert Court of Queen’s Bench, is scheduled for two weeks.