HAMILTON, ON, March 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Following a 15 month investigation, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Hamilton Niagara Commercial Crime Section have charged the former Settlement and Integration Services Organization (SISO) Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer with fraud.
Charges have been laid against:
Morteza DAVATGAR-JAFARPOUR (age 52) of Ottawa, Ontario
Ahmed "Robert" SALAMA (age 39) of Oakville, Ontario.
Police allege that DAVATGAR-JAFARPOUR and SALAMA used the registered charitable organization as a vehicle to defraud the federal government of millions of dollars. SISO was funded primarily by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and had several offices in Hamilton. SISO provided settlement assistance and other services to newcomers to Canada. SISO closed its doors following its bankruptcy in January 2011, resulting in the loss of services and 156 jobs in the Hamilton area.
In partnership with the Hamilton Police Service, the RCMP conducted an in-depth forensic investigation which revealed a sophisticated series of schemes spanning several years. The allegations include falsifying invoices, payroll and employee information. It is estimated that between 2008 and 2010, CIC was defrauded of in excess of $ 4 million.
The charges laid against the accused are: knowingly using forged documents; fraud over $5000; theft over $5000; and conspiracy to commit fraud over $5000.
"The RCMP and our counterparts at the Hamilton Police Service take this loss very seriously", stated Inspector Steve Martin, Officer in Charge of the Hamilton Niagara Detachment. "Not only did this organization, and its over 150 employees, have an impact on our community as a whole but the individuals behind this alleged fraud have deprived newcomers to Canada of important and vital services."
This investigation is continuing.
For further information:
Sgt. Michele Paradis