Criminal Charges Filed for Abuse of Comp System

August 19, 2005

A Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta, Canada investigation into claim payments has resulted in the filing of criminal charges against four people in two separate cases this week.

In 2003, WCB filed a civil suit in an attempt to recover funds believed stolen by a former claimant and his case manager. Since that time, internal investigations have progressed to gain evidence for the criminal charges laid this week. WCB estimates its loss at approximately $800,000 in that case.

As part of its investigation, WCB reviewed thousands of payment transactions and claim documents dating back to 1992. With assistance from the office of the Auditor General, WCB developed a new set of control reports, which subsequently helped the organization uncover an older, unrelated case of system abuse estimated at 1.2 million dollars. This second case dates back to 1996 and involves a former case manager, his brother and a former claimant who is now deceased.

“Although these isolated incidents have hurt all of us, WCB staff continue to hold my respect and my confidence,” said WCB President and CEO Guy Kerr. “I know they are working honestly and earnestly towards ensuring the stability and security of the workers’ compensation system for those who need help now and in the future.”

WCB has turned over its investigation findings to the Special Prosecutor with Alberta Justice. The charges laid reflect fraud of more than $5,000.

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