Court releases frozen fraud money: all City funds recovered
An Ontario Superior Court Justice has today ordered the return of $335 thousand in City money fraudulently obtained in August. This means the City will recover all $1.04 M that was directed to a fraudster’s bank account in August 2019 through a fraud scheme.
“This is exactly the outcome we have wanted for the past three months,” says City Manager Jeff Jorgenson. “We are grateful to the Court and for the efforts made by many people and organizations to recover this stolen money.”
Mr. Justice Michael A. Penny reserved his decision on November 5. The remaining funds had been the subject of court hearings in Toronto, where three parties claimed they had been unwitting victims of the fraud scheme.
Justice Penny found none of the remaining defendants provided enough evidence to require a trial. He also awarded the City $25 thousand in Court costs.
Each defendant has 30 days to appeal. Until then the money will be held in trust by the City’s lawyers.
Jorgenson says the City is currently finalizing the costs of the recovery and has already installed tighter accounting measures at City Hall.
“The finance team has worked closely with our internal auditors to implement appropriate controls that are now in place to help ensure that nothing like this happens again.”
Jorgenson anticipates an update report on the full cost of the recovery and findings of the root cause investigation will be provided to City Council before year-end.