Five TTC employees have now been dismissed as part of an ongoing internal investigation into an alleged benefits fraud that is also the focus of a criminal investigation by the Toronto Police Service. In October, the TTC announced the dismissal of a supervisor for their role in this alleged fraud.
Last July, police laid several charges against the owner of Healthy Fit, which was providing health care products and services to some TTC employees. It is alleged that receipts were provided to individuals by Healthy Fit for claim reimbursement where no product or service was obtained, or where receipt amounts were inflated. It is further alleged that Healthy Fit and the person making the claim would then share the money paid out by the TTC’s insurer, Manulife Financial, for these improper or fraudulent claims.
The TTC’s investigation and interviews with employees who made claims involving Healthy Fit continues. The TTC anticipates more employees will face discipline, up to and including dismissal. And while no criminal charges have been laid against any employee, the TTC is demanding full repayment from anyone who has knowingly made an improper claim against its benefits plan.
“It is only right that we take a very tough line on dealing with this matter,” said TTC CEO Andy Byford in a message to all employees today. “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.”
The TTC is continuing to work with Manulife Financial to enhance and strengthen its fraud detection and prevention programs. The TTC is determined to work with the health benefit industry in an effort to ensure that adequate and proper fraud prevention systems are in place to prevent future fraudulent claims. The TTC takes the responsibility it has to protect public money extremely seriously. Two years ago it established an anonymous hotline called “Integrity.” It is through this program where information about Healthy Fit first came to the TTC’s attention.