Criminal charges in long-term fraud investigation in Surrey

CHARGES have been laid in a complex fraud investigation that was launched over three years ago.

In October 2014, Surrey RCMP received a report of fraudulent activity being committed against a large supplies company. The complainant alleged that an outgoing employee had defrauded the business through unauthorized transfers and overpayments during the course of their duties as the company’s financial bookkeeper.

Surrey RCMP’s Economic Crime Unit (ECU) took over the investigation and conducted a significant number of investigative tasks in order to gather substantive evidence for charge approval. Investigators uncovered over $200,000 in alleged over-payments and undocumented transfers over two years to accounts held by the suspect. Working closely with the BC Prosecution Service, officers submitted a comprehensive report and on March 2, 2018, charges of fraud over $5,000 and theft over $5,000 were approved against the alleged suspect. On March 6, the suspect was arrested outside the Lower Mainland. The next scheduled court appearance is April 17.

The alleged suspect is not named in order to protect the identity of the victim company.

“Fraud investigations are complex and require a tremendous amount of work and collaboration with our Crown Counsel partners,” said Surrey RCMP Staff-Sgt. Major Beth McAndie. “Our investigators continue to see internal business fraud in various forms whether it’s within a small business or a large corporation. Business owners need to ensure that proper safeguards and reporting mechanisms are in place to protect themselves and their employees against embezzlement and undetected fraud.”

As Fraud Prevention Month draws to a close, Surrey RCMP reminds residents to continue to take simple steps to protect themselves against different forms of fraud throughout the whole year. More information is available on the Surrey RCMP’s website.