Edmonton

Former Stony Plain Mountie charged with fraud, theft, forgery

A Stony Plain RCMP officer has been charged with insurance fraud, theft and forgery, ASIRT said Friday at a news conference. The officer, who worked for the RCMP for nearly nine years, had been the subject of a months-long investigation by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team.

9-year RCMP veteran resigned from force Wednesday, one day before arrest

ASIRT executive director Susan Hughson announced the charges during a Friday morning news conference. (CBC Edmonton )

A Stony Plain RCMP officer has been charged with insurance fraud, theft and forgery, ASIRT said Friday at a news conference. 

The officer, who worked for the RCMP for nearly nine years, had been the subject of a months-long investigation by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team.

The accused was suspended from active duty on Feb. 19, 2016. He resigned from the force Wednesday and was charged on Thursday.

At the time of the offences he was a sworn member of the RCMP, working out of the Spruce Grove/Stony Plain detachment.

Investigators say the then-constable engaged in insurance fraud by creating a false hit-and-run collision report on Oct. 27, 2014.

"He exercised his position as a police officer to generate a false RCMP report," said ASIRT executive director Susan Hughson.

The then-constable submitted the report to his insurance company, and was paid out more than $1,600, Hughson said.

The theft charge stems from an incident in March 2015. Investigators say the constable took part in a roadside vehicle search on March 6, and found an Airsoft pistol.

Instead of seizing the pistol as evidence and properly handling it as an exhibit, he took it home.

The 30-year-old has been charged with one count of theft under $5,000, one count of obtaining by false pretenses, one count of uttering a forged document and one count of fraud under $5,000.

An internal RCMP Code of Conduct investigation is also underway. 

The accused was posted to Stony Plain in 2012. Before that,  he was posted to the Slave Lake detachment from 2007 to 2011.

'That's the disappointing part' 

"This is the first time ASIRT has charged an officer with a theft or fraud-related offence, so I would say from ASIRT's perspective it's reasonably rare," Hughson told reporters.

"I think that's the disappointing part about these types of offences, though. When an officer is charged with these offences it diminishes public confidence and it leaves the public worried that there are other officers out there doing the same things.

"And it really is an unfair colouring or tainting of the many good women and men that we have in our police services in this province, and it makes their job a little bit harder to go out when these things happen.

"But the public shouldn't worry that there are rampant officers engaging in this type of behaviour. These are the small pocket of people that perhaps shouldn't be police officers in the first place, or occasionally they are people who make mistakes, because policing is a profession and these people are human beings and they make mistakes.

"This goes beyond a momentary lapse of judgment, though."

The former constable's first court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 30 in Stony Plain provincial court.

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