ns-frank-anderson

An audit firm hired by the Nova Scotia government found serious deficiencies at the South West Shore Development Authority. The report criticized the way CEO Frank Anderson's organization was run. (SWSDA)

The CEO of a now-defunct regional development authority in Nova Scotia pleaded guilty to one count of uttering a forged document in court on Wednesday.

Francis (Frank) Anderson of Lake George led the South West Shore Development Authority when it shut down in June 2010 and sought restructuring under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act six months later, leaving dozens of businesses on the hook for more than $2 million.

The provincial Department of Economic and Rural Development referred the matter to police last year after an independent forensic audit said there were problems with expense claims submitted by Anderson.

The audit, conducted by Ernst & Young, said Anderson told auditors that the provincial government and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency knew the development authority was having cash flow problems and were aware that not all invoices had been paid.

The audit also said the authority lost money every year between 2003 and 2010, except 2008 when it received $1.8 million for the sale of a former naval base.

Anderson was originally charged with nine counts of uttering a forged document and two counts of fraud. 

Anderson will appear in court on Oct. 29 for sentencing on the count he pleaded guilty to.