Cop’s pay suspended following sentencing
BETSY POWELL WITH FILES FROM WENDY GILLIS
A Toronto police officer sentenced to seven years in a federal penitentiary for fabricating a stranger’s will has finally been suspended without pay four years after his arrest, a Toronto Police Service spokesperson confirmed Wednesday.
Robert Konashewych, 40, has been on paid leave since December 2019 after he and Adellene Balgobin, 36, were arrested for defrauding Heinz Sommerfeld’s estate of $834,000, denying the sole beneficiary, Peter Stelter, his inheritance.
The pair were convicted last June and sentenced Tuesday for carrying out the fraud in connection with her former job at the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee.
While only she was convicted of breach of trust, Konashewych nonetheless abused his position as an officer when he committed the crime, Superior Court Justice Sean Dunphy wrote in his sentencing reason.
“The scheme of seeking probate of a forged will made use of the veneer of respectability that his standing as a police officer necessarily imparted to the entire probate process in the eyes of every participant who was made aware of that status,” the judge wrote.
He also used police resources to locate fictitious witnesses who signed the will and used his status as an experienced police officer to make his application for probate appear “as beyond reproach as could be” at the Brampton Superior Court Estates Office, which ultimately resulted in the funds being released.
Toronto Star Newspapers Limited