Ajax quartet charged with fraud of government COVID programs

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Published July 17, 2023 at 12:44 pm

Four people from Ajax and a fifth from Ottawa have been charged for allegedly defrauding multiple government COVID relief programs.

In reaction to sweeping business closures in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government rolled out numerous supports for affected small businesses. The Ministry of Finance has been reviewing applications for these programs ever since.

During this review, the Ministry came across several suspicious applications involving the people from Ajax and Ottawa. They referred the matter to the OPP for further investigation. The investigation found they had allegedly used fake or ineligible businesses to defraud the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, The Property Tax Program and The Energy Cost Rebate program.

Keisha Campbell, age 39, Jaheim Carnegie, age 21, Micheal Patrick, age 47, and Amber Robinson, age 21, all from Ajax have been charged with possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000. Campbell and Carnegie are also charged with possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000 and fraud under $5,000.

All four suspects were released with conditions after their arrest and are set to appear in court on August 10.

Kevin Lee, 50 of Ottawa, is also charged with fraud over $5,000 and breaking a court order. Lee was initially released after his arrest but has since skipped multiple court dates, police say. As a result, another warrant is out for his arrest as of July 17.

Police have not shared how much money they believe the suspects took from the programs. The OPP said it will issue further comment “to protect the integrity of the investigation and court processes.”

 

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