'Vast majority' of stolen $1.04M identified or locked down by court order, city manager says
CTV News Saskatoon
Published Monday, August 19, 2019 10:14AM CST
Last Updated Monday, August 19, 2019 6:41PM CST
The "vast majority" of the $1.04 million stolen by a fraudster from the City of Saskatoon has been identified or traced and locked down by court order, city manager Jeff Jorgenson says.
“The money has not yet been returned to the city. We will continue to work with the banks and the Saskatoon Police Service in order to get as much of this money returned to the city as possible.”
Last week city manager Jorgenson told media that a fraudster had stolen the identity of the chief financial officer of a construction company the city deals with. The unidentified scammer then contacted the city, asking to change the company's banking information. A $1.04-million payment from the city then went to the fraudster's account, rather than the company's.
Monday at City Hall, Jorgenson identified that company as Allan Construction. The payment was in regards to the Sid Buckwold Bridge rehabilitation project, though it could have been any progress payment, he said.
“It’s very disconcerting that the perpetrator used my name and our company name to commit this crime,” Allan Construction CFO Blaine Dubreuil said in a news release.
“We have done a security assessment and are confident that our systems were not hacked or compromised. We’ll be working closely with the City of Saskatoon and the Saskatoon Police Service as the investigation continues.”
The city has around 1,000 vendors, and changes to their banking information are common enough that the city has a process for it, Jorgenson said.
Jorgenson also said that last week city staff reviewed and strengthened several controls and provided updates to its internal auditor, who is supportive of the changes.
"This week the internal auditor and our city staff will continue to work together to ensure that the city's controls are sufficiently hardened against further attacks," Jorgenson said.
The city has recovered about $40,000, he said.