Police chief comments on fraud case involving city staff

OTTAWA – Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau updated the public on the ongoing investigation in to the fraud that fooled a city treasurer in to transferring more than $100,000 to a phony account.

“The Ottawa Police Service (OPS) has conducted a review of the investigative actions taken in relation to a complaint of fraud reported by the City of Ottawa in 2018,” the chief released in a statement today (April 10). “The complaint was taken seriously and the proper steps were taken to ensure that relevant authorities were engaged in the investigation.”

In terms of this case, officers were dispatched to the city to take the initial complaint on July 11, 2018. Officers were instructed by Fraud Investigators to take the report and collect evidence such as emails. Officers determined the money was wired to an account outside of Canada.

The OPS became involved in an investigation along with the U.S. Secret Service and RCMP. No suspects were located in Canada. Special Agents conducted a U.S.-based investigation leading to the seizure of some funds. A U.S.-based arrest has taken place in relation to this file.

“Throughout the process, OPS investigators remained aware of the file and continued to keep the city updated,” Bordeleau said. “They also acted as the liaison between the Secret Service and the city arranging for disclosure, evidence retrieval and a petition for the recovery of the funds.”

“These types of crimes are often perpetrated by international groups and individuals and are difficult to investigate and resolve,” the chief said. “This can be frustrating for victims and investigators. That is why education and awareness about all types of frauds is so important.”