When Porter Airlines supremo Bob Deluce is inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame this spring, here’s one anecdote you ain’t gonna hear in the acceptance speech: That time Porter hired a fraudster to handle payroll for its 1,500 employees, and let over $870,000 fly out the door.
The sorry tale is recounted in Porter’s lawsuit against payroll thingy Monique Clark, who walked the plank in April after allegedly directing $873,980.74 in bogus payments into thirteen bank accounts discovered so far. (All of the apparent recipients of these payments have been named by Porter as co-defendants, including one Latoya Jackson.)
Clarke’s scheme, according to Porter: reactivate a terminated Porter employee’s file, change their name and banking information to those of her preferred accounts, assign them an hourly pay rate and send a direct deposit for fictional hours worked. After the money’s gone through, reverse all the changes to cover your tracks. Repeat every two weeks.
Porter claims they had no inkling of the ongoing heist until April when the Toronto Police Financial Crimes Unit advised them that Clarke had been convicted of fraud in excess of $300,000 at her last job, Acxsys Corporation, the Interac people.
Indeed, Monique had came to Porter straight from getting shitcanned at Acxsys in February 2014 for raiding the payroll in an eerily similar scheme. Apparently no one called her references. (Hopefully, Porter’s aircraft safety inspections are carried out with greater diligence!–ed.)
Justice B.A. Allen this past March sentenced Clarke to three years in the stony lonesome for the Acxsys scam and banned her for life from any employment involving responsibility for other peoples’ money. She’s launched an appeal.
Meanwhile, Porter legalists have been busily securing Mareva injunctions to freeze all relevant accounts in a game attempt to recover the dough.
Frank suggests returning those expectations to the upright position: Of the $309,663.00 Clarke was found to have skimmed at Acxsys, she’s been ordered to repay $12,282.78.