Fraud suspected in North Glengarry tax billing problems

The North Glengarry Township office in Alexandria, Ont. on June 3, 2016. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

ALEXANDRIA – North Glengarry’s chief administrative officer believes some criminal element may be behind problems with tax billing in the township.

During a special council meeting Thursday (March 23), Daniel Gagnon told council he suspects that some sort of fraud may be involved.

With that suspicion and the shear number of accounts the municipality has been correcting, it has hired auditing firm Deloitte to come in and do a full forensic audit, after consulting with the township’s insurance adviser.

A forensic audit is necessary to clarify if fraud is “a root cause,” the township explained.

The firm is expected to be on site this week. Up until now, the problem has been handled by township staff and a Cornwall auditing firm.

The tax bill problem first came to light last month when ratepayers started complaining about their interim tax bills, which included interest on balances in arrears. Those ratepayers insist their taxes were up-to-date.

In a statement, Gagnon said approximately 111 accounts have been corrected and more will be done as soon as possible.

Mayor Chris McDonell said the corrections are being done “equitably, quickly and transparently as possible.”