A medical equipment business owner is facing charges for allegedly defrauding the TTC’s insurance provider out of more than $4 million in phony claims.
The owner of Healthy Fit was arrested Wednesday, July 22 along with two other employees of the company for fraud exceeding $4,000 and laundering the proceeds of crime.
Investigators say the owner allegedly created false receipts for TTC employees indicating medical equipment such as braces and orthotics was purchased from the company, which would then be forwarded to the TTC’s claim provider Manulife Financial for reimbursement.
In a notice to employees issued after the arrests, TTC CEO Andy Byford said once it became aware of the scheme it advised Manulife, which did its own investigation and ultimately called in the police.
Byford promised the TTC will conduct its own internal investigation of the fraudulent claims, which became known through a tip made via the transit commission’s Integrity Line. The line allows employee whistleblowers to anonymously provide information to investigators on fraud or other wrongdoing.
Although police said the owner of Healthy Fit allegedly targeted TTC employees to take advantage of their medical benefits and no employees of the commission are currently facing charges, Byford promised serious consequences for anyone implicated by the investigation.
“If, through these investigations, an employee is found to have been party to this alleged fraud they will face serious consequences, up to and including criminal charges and/or termination of employment,” his statement reads.
Byford also promised an internal review of the TTC’s medical benefits program, particularly when it comes to “unregulated” medical device providers, to strengthen controls over fraudulent claims.
Charged are Adam Smith, 44, Sachia Leon, 28, and Savath Nget, 30.
All three of the accused were scheduled to appear in a Toronto court Wednesday to answer the charges.