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City of Saskatoon awaits Ontario court decision on recovery of fraudulently stolen funds

Saskatoon (November 8, 2019) – The City of Saskatoon awaits a decision from the Ontario Superior Court after the hearing on November 5 regarding the recovery of their fraudulently stolen money, which is currently frozen in bank accounts. The city has been able to recover over two-thirds of their losses. In August of this year, the municipality became the victim of a Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam and paid unknowingly over $1 million to a fraudster.

The City of Saskatoon announced in a press release on November 7 that they await a decision from the Ontario Superior Court regarding the recovery of a part of the fraudulently stolen funds earlier this year. The hearing took place in Toronto on November 5.

The traced money, which was obtained through a fraud scheme is currently frozen in a bank account. A court ruling is necessary in order to return the money to the municipality. ‘The matter has been heard by the Court and no further actions can be taken on recovery efforts until we know its decision,’ said City Manager Jeff Jorgenson. ‘So we can’t speculate on how long it will take or what the decision will be.’

Read more: City of Saskatoon became victim of identity fraud scheme and lost over $1M

So far, the city has been able to recover $700,000 of the $1.04 million lost to the fraud scheme. According to Thursday’s press release, ‘any money that has not been returned to the City has been identified, traced and locked down by the Court.’ ‘As we’ve said from the outset, we’re extremely grateful for the efforts made by many people and organizations to recover the stolen money,’ Jorgenson pointed out. ‘We remain optimistic that the remaining funds that are still frozen in several bank accounts will be returned to the City.’

Jorgenson signalized that the city plans on providing the City Council with an ‘update report on findings of the root cause investigation’ before the end of the year.

In August of this year, the City of Saskatoon has directed $1.04 million to the bank account of a fraudster after falling for a Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam. A scammer contacted the city via email impersonating the chief financial officer of a local construction company with whom the city has contracts with and asked to change the company’s banking information.