TTC: More than 200 employees forced out in wake of benefits fraud investigation
Codi Wilson, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, March 14, 2018 1:10PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 14, 2018 2:00PM EDT
The number of TTC employees who have been fired or left the transit agency in the wake of a massive benefits scam has risen more than 200, the TTC confirmed Wednesday.
In a written statement, the transit agency said 223 employees have now either been dismissed or have resigned or retired to avoid dismissal for allegedly defrauding the TTC’s benefits plan.
An investigation into the scheme was launched in 2014 after the TTC received an anonymous tip on its “Integrity Line.”
According to the TTC, the owner of Healthy Fit, an orthotics business with locations in Toronto and Mississauga, and a number of TTC employees allegedly agreed to apply for benefits claims for orthotic devices and services that they never actually received.
Claims were submitted for items including compression stockings, sleeves, and orthotics, in addition to therapy services.
The insurance payments, police said, were then split among the business and the employees involved.
Ten current and former TTC employees, along with the owner of Healthy Fit, Adam Smith, have been criminally charged in connection with the scam.
Smith was previously found guilty of two counts of fraud over $5,000 and was sentenced to two years in prison.
Of the 10 TTC employees who were charged, four have pleaded guilty and received a conditional discharge, probation, and community service. More than $82,000 in restitution has been collected from the employees, the TTC said.
The charges against the remaining six employees are currently before the courts.
The TTC is also suing the benefits administrator Manulife Financial, Smith, and Healthy Fit for up to $5 million. The TTC alleges that Manulife failed to prevent or detect the fraud in a timely manner.
Since the investigation into the scheme was launched, the TTC said it has seen a reduction in benefits claims costs of more than $7 million.