Fraud can?t be fully avoided and that?s nothing but the truth in the case of a former public works manager for the Halton Region, his wife, and a contractor they?ve been working with. The trio has been charged with fraud due to allegedly being involved with a scheme for money laundering done through municipal contracts.
7 Years Running
The fraud has been going on since 2008 and is now worth $770,000. All the money was fraudulently taken by falsely billing public works contracts to Hamilton-based Sirron Systems Inc. according to Halton police. The company is involved with software administration that runs and monitors the water plants.
Police officer Det. Sgt. Chris Lawson called the fraud as an elaborate scheme, as it involved sending fake billings to the region for nonexistent supplies or labour.
The fraud also involved building house with the money, letting the money go baack to Sirron, and eventually finding its way to the pocket of the former public work manager, added the detective.
Six warrants were simultaneously executed by the police middle of last month, 2 in Peel region, 1 in Toronto, 1 in Stoney Creek, and 2 at Halton Regional offices.
Careful Investigation of Multiple Charges
August 2016 marked the beginning of the investigation when another employee, David Ohashi was arrested. Ohashi oversaw waste water initiatives and is involvement is about accepting secret commissions, fraud under $5,000, using a forged document, and 3 counts of municipal corruption.
As of today, police have charged Mississauga?s Nicholas Rewa, 55, with 2 counts of municipal corruption, 2 counts of fraud over $5,000, 1 count of laundering crime proceeds, 1 count of property acquired through crime, and 2 counts of secret commissions. This was all after he was fired from his job.
Marion Rewa, 45,? Nicholas? wife, was also charged by the police with one count of fraud over $5,000 and 1 count of property acquired through crime.
Stoney Creek?s David Norris, 52, was also charged with 2 counts of fraud over $5,000, 2 counts of secret commissions, 2 counts of municipal corruption, and 1 count each of property obtained by crime and laundering proceeds of crime. David Norris is the head of Sirron Systems Inc.
All accused are currently at large after being released on condition that they appear in Milton court on May 9.
Lawson added that the police did not find any evidence of collusion between Ohashi and Rewa although they?ve had daily contact. The police also shared that as of this time, they do not have evidence other inappropriate or fraudulent activity at the region but still warns the public that it is possible that there are more people involved in the scheme and this could be worth more than $770,000.
The police are urging anyone who may have some information to call the Crime Stoppers t 1-800-222-8477 or contact the Regional Fraud Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 8739.
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