Where do your tax dollars go – The Fake CEO Scam

(Photo: Auditor General Ken Hughes – Ottawa Sun)

The City of Ottawa Auditor General, Ken Hughes, tabled his report Monday. Normally not a report bringing about a lot of attention, this report has one event that stands out.

It was discovered that $97,797(US) ($130,000 Cdn) had been wired to an American supplier last summer. The City Treasurer, Marian Simulik, believed it had been requested by City of Ottawa Manager Steve Kanellakos.

It was a scam and our City Treasurer was the quarry.

After a second request was received for $154,000(US), Simulik contacted Kanellakos. Knowing nothing about the email, he did say that the email looked legit and Marian Simulik didn’t break any rules.

Eli El-Chantiry asked ‘why is this the first time that Council was hearing about this and never brought to their attention last July when it occured?’. He asked again ‘why no one told them about this $98 being scammed from the city and its taxpayers’.

American authorities were monitoring the bank account to which the money had been deposited and alerted the City. The money has been retrieved, arrests were made and the case is currently before the courts.

“This incident highlights dangerous control weaknesses in the City’s policies and procedures that must be immediately corrected,” Mr. Hughes concluded in his report to the Audit Committee this morning.

With only five people allowed to make wire transfers for $25M on behalf of the City, Auditor General Hughes said in his report “that controls for wire transfers at the City need to be improved”.

Also tabled at the Audit Committee this morning by the City’s Auditor General, was the 2019 Audit Work Plan.

Perhaps we should all pay more attention to the Auditor General’s Report.


Leave a Reply