Montreal (September 24, 2020) – Hydro Québec announced that their investigations led to the exposure of ‘an electricity and identity theft network’. Five people have been arrested on September 21 in Montreal. They are accused of using stolen identities to defraud up to $300,000 in electricity during the course of five years. They are facing 20 charges related to fraud, conspiracy, and identity theft.
Hydro Québec announced in a press release on September 22 that their corporate security team exposed ‘an electricity and identity theft network’. Five people were arrested for allegedly stealing $300,000 worth of electricity.
The ‘electricity and identity theft network’
Between 2014 and 2019, five people allegedly conducted electricity theft worth $300,000. The two principal suspects, Mario Brousseau and Simon Brousseau-Ouellette are accused of fraudulently using the personal information of other individuals without their permission in order to avoid paying the electricity bills for their rental property. The province-owned corporation said that they opened fake electricity accounts with these stolen identities using 38 addresses in 28 buildings.
‘It was impossible for a customer service representative to identify the fraud because the names and information provided to open the accounts were real,’ explained Quebec’s hydro utility. ‘This gave rise to identity theft charges, in addition to the charges involving electricity theft.’
Fraud, conspiracy, and identity theft charges laid
On September 21, five suspects were arrested in Montreal and on the city’s south shore. The accused are facing 20 charges related to fraud, conspiracy, and identity theft in connection with electricity theft.
‘This investigation is one of dozens led by our corporate security teams to ensure revenue protection and integrity,’ stated Hydro Québec. ‘Hydro-Québec is continuing its efforts to counter all forms of fraud out of fairness to its customers. Our actions against electricity theft aim to recover the stolen amounts and prevent annual recurring losses.’
Read more: Man wanted in identity theft investigation
Marina Burghard writes for Canadian Fraud News about fraud-related cases, whistleblower, jurisdiction, identity theft, consumer protection, etc. – essentially about scams and how to protect yourself against this kind of fraudulent criminal behavior. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science where her interest in criminology grew. Besides fraud, Marina’s scientific interest lies in terrorism, extremism and how to deal with it as a society.