RCMP accuses consultant of fraud by overbilling federal government by $250,000

RCMP accuses consultant of fraud by overbilling federal government by 0,000

A federal consultant is facing fraud charges after allegedly overbilling the federal government by tens of thousands of dollars over an 18-month period, according to the RCMP.

Public Services and Procurement Canada launched an investigation in the summer of 2021 into a federal consultant who performed contract work for eight separate Canadian government departments and state-owned enterprises.

According to the RCMP, evidence shows the consultant “submitted fraudulent timesheets, resulting in an estimated $250,000 in overbilling between January 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.”

The PSPC referred the matter to the RCMP, who then opened an investigation by the RCMP Federal Policing’s Sensitive and International Investigations Unit (SII).

“The RCMP SII launched an investigation after it was determined the consultant may have overcharged,” the RCMP said in a statement.

“The RCMP collected statements from general contractors while examining time sheets to confirm that the consultant had overcharged the Canadian government on individual contracts.”

Clara Elaine Visser, 63, is charged with fraud over $5,000. Visser is due in court Sept. 6 at the Ottawa Courthouse.

“This investigation is a great example of collaboration between the RCMP and PSPC,” Supt. Jeremie Landry said in a statement.

“It demonstrates our commitment to keeping our country safe by protecting the integrity of the federal government and preventing the misuse of taxpayer dollars.”

A spokesman for Minister of Public Services and Procurement Jean-Yves Duclos declined to say which contracts were under investigation.

“Protecting taxpayer dollars is critical to ensuring accountable and transparent governance,” spokesman Guillaume Bertrand said in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.

“We continue to take action to strengthen the integrity of our procurement system. Anyone who has abused our rapid COVID response, or who has created fraudulent invoices, must face consequences. PSPC continues to work closely with the RCMP and other law enforcement agencies to ensure that any attempted fraud against the government is properly investigated and prosecuted. We will do everything we can to recover all funds that were wrongfully paid.”

Public Services and Procurement Canada declined to say which departments were involved in the investigation.

Featuring files from CTV News reporter Colton Praill