Greater Sudbury officials are struggling to find a way to recover $500,000 it lost when a private company it hired failed to turn over funds collected on the sale of bus tickets.

The company sold bus tickets for the city between 1999 and 2009. But it didn't turn over the city's share of the proceeds, about $800,000.

The city sued the company, and collected about $300,000, all the money the company had.

The city then pinned its hopes on a police investigation. If police found that a crime had been committed, then the city could sue the owner of the company Tony Sharma.

But police reported this week that there was no evidence of any crime, and said no charges would be laid.

City solicitor Jamie Canapini said one option for getting the remaining $500,000 is to sue the owners or directors of the company. But, he said, in those kinds of cases, the danger is, if you lose, you have to pay the other side's court costs.

"So, obviously that would be to add insult to injury," he said.

Mayor Marianne Matichuk has said city council waived its right to sue Sharma, a claim Canapini said he can't comment on.

Matichuk also said that other ways of recovering the outstanding half-a-million dollars are being explored.

But Canapini said there aren't many options.

He says the numbered company that sold the tickets is being monitored, and anything it ever owns would already go to the city.

"But unfortunately, as the old saying goes, you can't get blood from a stone."

Canapini said there has been talk about the case being handed over to the Canada Revenue Agency for a possible tax-evasion investigation. But, he said, that wouldn't put any money back into the city coffers.