Creative Saskatchewan recovers portion of $331,000 lost to fraud, province says

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Creative Saskatchewan has recovered some of its funds that were sent to someone impersonating a client of the economic development agency.

In August of 2023, the Crown corporation was defrauded of $331,568.80 after banking information was fraudulently changed by someone impersonating a client.

As a result of the change, the payment was redirected to the wrong bank account.

The fraud was reported to police and the agency applied to court asking for the Royal Bank of Canada to return the money.

As of Feb. 5, 2024, Creative Saskatchewan has retrieved $118,336.10 of its lost funds, according to a loss report from the province.

A Saskatchewan judge ruled in October that RBC must disclose the amount of money that remains in the account from the fraudulent transfers and identity of the account holder.

The bank didn’t oppose the court order but asked the court to ensure it wasn’t violating legislation restricting the release of personal information.

In a statement to CTV News, Creative Saskatchewan CEO Erin Dean said the investigation into recovering the remainder of the funds is still ongoing.

“Since become a victim of this scam, Creative Saskatchewan has strengthened its procedures and staff are enrolled in regular, mandatory cyber security training courses,” she said.

Creative Saskatchewan was established in 2013 to support the province’s film and television industry following the cut of the province’s film tax credit.

Creative Saskatchewan’s budget was largely expanded in the 2022-2023 budget, rising from a mere $2 million to $17.5 million through multiple announcements.

Since its formation, Creative Saskatchewan has provided $65.8 million in more than 2,400 projects.