Calgary woman arrested after police say she defrauded local company of $537k

File: A Calgary police vehicle along with police tape at a crime scene. Global News

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.”

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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.

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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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