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Consultant charged with fraud, accused of overbilling Ottawa $250,000: RCMP


A consultant accused of overbilling the federal government by roughly $250,000 has been charged with fraud, the RCMP said Tuesday.

In a media release, the RCMP said 62-year-old Clara Elaine Visser faces one charge of fraud over $5,000.

The RCMP said that in the summer of 2021, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) launched an investigation of a federal consultant who did contract work with eight separate federal government departments and Crown corporations.

“Evidence indicated that the consultant had submitted fraudulent timesheets that resulted in overbilling by an estimated $250,000 between January 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021,” the RCMP said in the media release.

In a statement, PSPC said the government took “swift action” and suspended the consultant’s security clearance in June 2021, then revoked the clearance two years later in September 2023. Visser was not named in the department’s statement.

“Today’s announcement indicates the government will not tolerate illegal activities and will bring fraudulent billing schemes to justice,” the PSPC statement said.

WATCH | IT contractors billed multiple departments for same work, minister says: 

Government refers suspected contractor fraud to RCMP, more cases could be coming

Canada’s federal procurement department says three IT sub-contractors billed multiple departments for the same work for years, and the suspected fraud has been referred to police. It’s the latest in a series of allegations about mismanagement in the public service.

Guillaume Bertrand, a spokesperson for Procurement Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, said in a separate statement that “protecting taxpayer money is crucial to ensure responsible and transparent governance.”

“Anyone who has taken advantage of our swift COVID response, or anyone who has committed fraudulent billings, should face consequences,” Bertrand added.

In March, Duclos said a recent review uncovered fraudulent billing schemes in play between 2018 and 2022. He also said that his department revoked the security clearances of those contractors and is taking action to recover the money.

Police said Visser is due to appear in court in September.

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