A Calgary woman who police say posed as a professional chartered accountant has been charged with defrauding a local company out of more than half a million dollars.
Between October 2013 and September 2015, police say the woman worked at a local oil and gas company on a temporary contract posing as an accountant. Police say she was also the sole administrator of the company’s third-party payroll system and had sole access to the company credit card.
According to police, the woman added herself to the company’s payroll as a full-time salaried employee, paying herself $254,856. Police also believe she used a company credit card intended for small office-related items to make what police say were “extravagant and expensive purchases.”
The police investigation revealed the woman wrote and cashed 16 cheques totalling $65,280 and used company funds to pay off her personal credit card to the tune of $187,522.
In all, police believe the woman defrauded the company out of $537,141.
The company realized something was up when the woman responded to a “suspicious” work email and sent a large sum of money to a supposed financial institution in China without first checking with management.
That triggered an internal investigation that discovered a series of frauds and thefts. The company informed police in January 2016, sparking a lengthy and complex police investigation that was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Feb. 16, Monika Manhas, 44, was arrested and charged with fraud and theft over $5,000. Manhas is due to appear in court on March 30.
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