RCMP Charge Hamilton Man with Fraud and Possessing a Forged Canadian Passport

ST. CATHARINES, ON, Dec. 4 /CNW/ - Following a lengthy investigation, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Hamilton-Niagara Regional Detachment Commercial Crime Section, charged Albert Weir Fitchett (age 56) of Hamilton, with two counts of Fraud Exceeding $5,000. Fitchett also faces a third charge of Possessing a Forged Canadian Passport contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada. The investigation and charges resulted from concerns identified by lenders and Industry Canada, the Federal Government department which administers the Canada Small Business Financing Program.

Investigators found that Fitchett allegedly prepared business plans and generated false invoices to support the procurement of Small Business Improvement Loans for two Niagara area businesses. The value of the loans were $250,000 each and quickly defaulted causing the bank to pursue legal action thereby leaving customers to indemnify the banks.

As the result of another investigation, Fitchett was found in possession of a Canadian Passport which belonged to another person. This passport bore Fitchett's photograph that was pasted on top of the passport holder's valid photograph.

Fitchett's first appearance is set for Friday, December 11th, 2009, 9:00 a.m. at the St. Catharines Courthouse, St. Catharines, Ontario.

The Hamilton-Niagara Regional Detachment Commercial Crime Section is responsible for the investigation of allegations where criminal conduct is suspected in relation to the Canada Small Business Financing Act. In partnership with Industry Canada, the R.C.M.P. actively investigates abuses which occur within the Small Business Financing program. "One of our top priorities is to identify and investigate allegations of frauds against the government which ultimately impacts the tax payer", stated Staff Sergeant Kevin PAYNE, in charge of the R.C.M.P. Hamilton-Niagara Commercial Crime Section.

The investigation continues. Additional charges may be pending.

SOURCE Royal Canadian Mounted Police

For further information: For further information: Sgt. Marc LaPorte, RCMP "O" Division (Ontario), Media Relations Coordinator, Office: (519) 640-7302, Cell: (416) 992-4409

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