Toronto records highest number of employee fraud complaints

Several employees disciplined for fraudulent behaviour

Toronto records highest number of employee fraud complaints

The number of cases of employee fraud among city workers in Toronto has skyrocketed.

In 2023, Toronto’s Fraud and Waste Hotline received 1,054 complaints made up of roughly 1,450 allegations.

That number is the highest number of complaints in a year since the launch of the hotline program, according to a report from the acuity’s auditor general.

Overall, the Auditor General’s Office has received 14,000 complaints since 2002.

Following investigations into the 2023 complaints, the city government disciplined five employees and took 25 other appropriate actions.

In total, a dozen city workers were disciplined last year for fraud and waste, according to a CTV News report.

The city workers who were disciplined included a municipal employee who was fired for using sick days to work shifts at another job, according to the report. Also, another city worker submitted false benefits claims for 33 instances where no service was provided. That employee was also terminated, and is now ineligible to work for the city.

For complaints closed in 2023, the city government disciplined seven employees and took 24 other appropriate actions, according to the Auditor General’s 2023 Annual Report on the Fraud and Waste Hotline.

Here’s what employers should do if they suspect an employee of fraud.

Fraud is costing Toronto millions

These illegal activities are costly to the city of Toronto, according to the auditor general’s report.

These fraudulent activities led to $495,000 actual loss, $100k potential loss and $31k recovery for complaints substantiated and closed in 2023. 

These amounts are expected to increase as outstanding complaints are completed in 2024, according to the city’s auditor general.

Overall, fraud could cost the city $27.7 million in actual loss, $1 million in potential loss and $231,000 in recovery in five years, according to the report. 

Here’s how to respond when you confirm employee fraud, according to experts.

Source: Toronto Auditor General

“We cannot afford, literally, to have people defraud the taxpayers of the City of Toronto, and have waste,” Toronto Councillor Josh Matlow said in the CTV News report. “We need to make sure that every single dollar goes to the priorities of the people of this city.”

“We do need every dollar,” audit committee member Paula Fletcher said in the same report. “And we do need to say, ‘if you’re going to break the rules, we’re going to catch you.’” 

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