The RCMP have charged an Eastern Ontario couple, alleging they illegally declared bankruptcy and then stole $375,000 from the bank account of their snow removal company.

Police say the business owners used the bankruptcy laws to misappropriate the funds, instead of paying creditors.  The business is called Ottawa Diamond Construction.. Charged are 57-year-old Roch St-Louis of Casselman and his former spouse 54-year-old Claire Johnson of Kanata.  Police allege the now bankrupt company was not insolvent at all but that by forcing the bankruptcy of Ottawa Diamond construction Inc., through its depletion of the bank account, Johnson and St-Louis “willfully circumvented the company’s legitimate creditor priority, resulting in a substantial loss to its suppliers and the public purse.”

The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act is intended to afford a fresh start to the honest but unfortunate debtor.  But the RCMP’s Integrated Bankruptcy Enforcement Unit says since January, 2014, it has charged 62 individuals, encompassing liabilities of about $112 million.

St-Louis and Johnson are to appear in an Ottawa Court on January 29th.