Edmonton police have charged a former Alberta Motor Association (AMA) executive with fraud after an investigation into purportedly millions in embezzled funds.
“In the fall of 2016 police received a report of fraud from the organization after employees reportedly discovered a series of fraudulent invoices,” the authorities said in a release Tuesday. “Officers determined more than $8 million in funds had allegedly been defrauded between March 2011 and June 2016.”
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AMA launched a civil lawsuit in August that alleged that its former vice-president of information technology James Gladden, 38, authorized forged invoices and wired payments to various banks in both the US and China. Gladden was fired from the company last July.
According to the suit, Gladden purchased an extravagant home in southwest Edmonton and a downtown office building with the misappropriated money.
“Mr. Gladden was provided with and exercised discretion and authority to authorize payments on invoices. As a result, the AMA was particularly vulnerable to any misuse by Mr. Gladden,” AMA’s statement of claim read.
As a result of the civil suit, Gladden’s assets were frozen, which included his bank accounts, a vacation home in Arizona, a boat, two Porsches, and a Maserati.
Gladden turned himself over to the authorities on Friday. He was charged with fraud of over $5,000, laundering proceeds of crime and five counts of using a forged document.
AMA said that insurance will cover any financial losses suffered as a result of the embezzlement. The Canadian Press reported that the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada and Alberta Justice Department officials helped in the investigation.
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