Toronto

TTC fires 5 employees for allegedly claiming fraudulent benefits

The better way is making an effort to be better with public funds after canning five employees following an internal investigation into an alleged benefits scam.

Public transit service expects more workers to face discipline

TTC CEO Andy Byford says a tough line is the right response to alleged scams involving the public transit service. (CBC)

The "better way" is making an effort to be better with public funds after dismissing five employees following an internal Toronto Transit Commission investigation into an alleged benefits scam.

In a news release, the TTC announced the firings as part of an ongoing process. The TTC dismissed a supervisor in October in connection with the alleged fraud. Toronto police are also investigating.

Police laid charges in July against the owner of a company called Healthy Fit after it was alleged that receipts were provided to customers at inflated prices or for services that were never provided. Allegedly, the company and person making the claims to the TTC's insurer, Manulife Financial, were sharing the money.

The TTC's employee benefit plan was allegedly defrauded of more than $4 million. Three people were arrested four months ago in connection with the alleged benefits scam.

"It is only right that we take a very tough line on dealing with this matter," TTC chief executive officer Andy Byford said Wednesday in a message to employees. "Not only does this put our benefits package at risk, it also undermines the credibility and honesty of each and every one of us in the eyes of the public, just as we are working so hard to restore our reputation."

It was an anonymous hotline launched two years ago known as Integrity that first shed light on the suspected issue of allegedly fraudulent claims. So far, no criminal charges have been laid.

The TTC's investigation continues and the public transit service is predicting that more employees will be disciplined. The commission is demanding full repayment for improper claims. 

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