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Vale Canada sues six men for fraud in $1M civil lawsuit

Sudbury (December 17, 2019) – The mining company Vale Canada Limited has filed a civil lawsuit against six men, including three former employees, for fraud, according to a CBC report. Lee MacIsaac, a former superintendent at Clarabelle Mill, maintenance supervisor William Auger and parts coordinator Yvan Lecuyer are accused of using a fake subcontracting company – RKL Engineering – to defraud their former employer out of $1 million over the past six years. Furthermore, the complex fraud scheme allegedly involved three other men who worked for maintenance and repair contractors at Sudbury’s Clarabelle Mill. The allegations have yet to be proven in court.

On February 26 of this year, the mining company Vale Canada Limited filed a lawsuit against six men, including three former employees, according to the CBC. The lawsuit alleges that the six men conducted a complex fraud scheme over six years and defrauded Vale out of a total of $1 million. Furthermore, the three former employees at Vale’s Clarabelle Mille in Sudbury are accused of using a fake subcontracting company to manipulate maintenance work. The maintenance work was given to companies for which the other three accused were working.

Allegedly, all six men profited from the scheme and shared the kickbacks. The allegations were filed in a civil lawsuit at the Ontario Superior Court in Toronto. The document was received by the CBC. However, all allegations have yet to be proven in court.

Complex employee fraud scheme

The tree Vale Canada employees who have been named as defendants are Lee MacIsaac, a superintendent at Clarabelle Mill, William Auger, a maintenance supervisor, and Yvan Lecuyer, a parts coordinator. MacIsaac was responsible for overseeing the maintenance contracts. In order to sign-off contracts for suppliers, it was Vale’s policy that at least two employees are needed to sign the paperwork. It is alleged that Auger and Lecuyer provided the required signatures.

Vale Canada further alleges that MacIsaac was the operating mind of the engineering firm RKL Engineering. RKL is accused of providing fictitious services and products. Additionally, the other three defendants named in Vale Canada’s action were working for three companies who were regularly contracted by Vale to conduct maintenance and repair work at the mill: Jason Bettiol of ABS Manufacturing, Felix Vazquez of Metso Minerals, and John Vasconcelos of E.S. Fox Limited.

The lawsuit alleges that ‘MacIsaac would identify standing purchase orders Vale had with one of the contractors that had some unspent money in it. The contractor company would then hire RKL Engineering as a subcontractor to do work that Vale claims “was not in fact performed.” Vale would then pay RKL Engineering, which meant sending money to MacIsaac,’ the CBC story explains.

An investigation found about $1 million

It is alleged that between 2013 and 2018, approximately $1 million was paid to RKL Engineering by the mining company. The lawsuit claims that MacIsaac ‘kept a portion for himself and distributed the remainder to his co-conspirators.’ None of the accused have filed a statement of defense with the court yet. Vale is seeking damages from the three men, although it has not specified a monetary amount in its claim.

MacIsaac, Auger, and Lecuyer are no longer employed by Vale. Jason Bettiol who was named as one of the co-conspirators by Vale went missing a few weeks after the lawsuit was filed and was found dead by the Sudbury Police a few days after that.

Read more: Former head of Federal Bridge Corp. pleads guilty to kickbacks over SNC-Lavalin bridge contract

Although Vale Canada filed a criminal complaint with the Greater Sudbury Police to investigate a year ago, for reasons not disclose it has advised that it is not pursuing criminal charges any longer.