King Township woman extradited from Spain to face charges in $5.5M fraud
A York Regional Police badge in seen in this file photo. (Mathew Reid/CP24)
Chris Herhalt, CP24.com
Published Friday, October 23, 2015 5:57PM EDT
York Regional Police have charged a former King Township woman extradited from Spain in relation to an alleged multimillion dollar fraud perpetrated against a Vaughan company.
Police allege that as a senior manager of Crane Payment Solutions in Vaughan, the woman set up fake accounts payable for the company which were similar in name to actual vendors the company owed money to.
The fraud allegedly occurred over a 14-month period, from March 2014 to May 2015 during which the woman’s employer paid her for fake bills amounting to $5.5 million.
Crane supplies coin, bill and wireless payment devices to various retail, gaming, financial services and transportation clients.
When Crane’s management confronted the woman about the fake accounts payable, police say the woman fled Canada for Europe.
Police issued an international warrant for her arrest. On Sept. 15, police in Spain, responding to a tip, arrested the suspect near Malaga, Spain, where she is believed to have lived after fleeing Canada.
On Oct. 15, the accused waived her right to an extradition hearing and was brought to Canada on Thursday.
Natalia Pouchinka, 55, was charged with one count of theft over $5,000 and one count of fraud over $5,000.
Pouchkinka appeared in a Newmarket courtroom on Friday and has been remanded in custody until her next court appearance scheduled for Oct. 26.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the York Regional Police Major Fraud unit at 905-830-0303, ext. 6614 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).