TORONTO – NEWS – Ten people face criminal charges as part of an ongoing police investigation into an alleged TTC benefits fraud scheme. To date, 150 employees have been fired, retired or resigned to avoid dismissal. Of the 10 facing charges, nine are former TTC employees and one remains an employee on medical leave.
In 2014, the TTC began an investigation following a tip to its Integrity Line that alleged receipts were being provided to employees by Healthy Fit, a health care products and service provider, where claim reimbursements were being made but where no product or service – orthotics, compression stockings and sleeves – was obtained or where receipt amounts were inflated. It was also alleged that Healthy Fit and the employee making improper claims would then share the money paid out by the TTC’s insurer at the time, Manulife Financial.
TTC investigators informed Manulife and police of its findings, and in July 2015, criminal charges were laid against the owner of Healthy Fit. The TTC’s benefits provider changed to Green Shield on Jan. 1, 2017 following a public procurement process.
TTC investigators continue to interview employees as part of its own investigation; the police probe is a separate, though parallel, investigation. Where evidence shows the TTC’s benefits plan was billed inappropriately, employees face dismissal. The TTC has insurance to protect itself against financial loss due to benefits fraud. Nevertheless, restitution is being sought from anyone who made an improper claim against the TTC’s benefits plan.
In 2016, the TTC saw a reduction in benefits claims costs of almost $5 million over 2015, reflecting the TTC’s continued success in bringing an end to improper benefits claims or outright fraud. The TTC anticipates more employee dismissals as it continues its investigation into this serious matter: the theft of public money. Integrity, accountability and transparency will continue to guide TTC management in all that it does.