A 71-year-old Regina woman is accused of theft and fraud in a case police say involves an estimated $1 million in losses.

A spokeswoman for the police, Elizabeth Popowich, said Tuesday that a "lengthy, complex case involving 39 victims and an estimated million dollar loss" has led to charges against one person.

Popowich said that in October of 2008 police began hearing from company owners in Regina who were concerned after some paycheques, issued to their employees, had bounced.

"These company owners were clients of the same payroll-service business," Popowich explained. She did not identify any of the businesses by name.

"In this case we have allegedly 39 victims — 39 companies — and the funds misappropriated [amount to] $1,012,000 and change," Popowich said. "Certainly in my experience with the Regina Police Service that would rank as one of the largest fraud cases."

Popowich said the woman charged is the owner and operator of the payroll service company.

Such firms, she said, are often used by small or medium-sized businesses that do not have a payroll division.

While police received complaints from 39 companies investigators believe there may be others who did not report to police.

The accused woman is facing two charges, one of theft over $5,000 and one of fraud over $5,000.

According to police, Geraldine Maloa Williams, 71, of Regina, is set to appear in court on the charges on July 11.