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Consultant accused of overbilling the federal government $250,000, RCMP says


A federal consultant is facing fraud charges for allegedly overbilling the federal government tens of thousands of dollars over an 18-month period, according to the RCMP.

Public Services and Procurement Canada launched an investigation in the summer of 2021 into a federal consultant who undertook contract work with eight separate Government of Canada departments and Crown Corporations.

The RCMP says evidence indicated the consultant, "submitted fraudulent timesheets that resulted in overbilling by an estimated $250,000 between January 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021."

PSPC referred the case to the RCMP,  and the RCMP Federal Policing's Sensitive and International Investigations Unit (SII) opened an investigation.

"The RCMP SII opened an investigation after it was determined that the consultant may have been overbilling," the RCMP said in a statement.

"The RCMP obtained statements from prime contractors while examining timesheets to confirm that the consultant had overbilled the Government of Canada on separate contracts."

Clara Elaine Visser, 63, is facing a charge of fraud over $5,000. Visser is scheduled to appear in court at the Ottawa Courthouse on Sept. 6.

"This investigation is a great example of collaboration between the RCMP and PSPC," Supt. Jeremie Landry said in a statement.

"It demonstrates that we are committed to keeping our nation safe, by protecting the integrity of the federal government and preventing the abuse of taxpayers' dollars."

A spokesperson for Public Services and Procurement Minister Jean-Yves Duclos would not say what contracts were involved in the investigation.

"Protecting taxpayer money is crucial to ensure responsible and transparent governance," spokesperson Guillaume Bertrand said in a statement to CTV News Ottawa. 

"We continue to take action to reinforce the integrity of our procurement system. Anyone who has taken advantage of our swift COVID response, or anyone who committed fraudulent billings, should face consequences. PSPC continues to work closely with the RCMP and other police forces to ensure that any attempted fraud against the government is properly investigated and prosecuted. We will make all efforts to recover all ill-paid funds."

Public Services and Procurement Canada would not say which departments were involved in the investigation.

With files from CTV News reporter Colton Praill Top Stories

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