Employee Defrauds Crown Corp. Out Of $275k
An employee of Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries has been arrested and charged after she reportedly defrauded the Crown Corporation out of more than $275,000. The 51-year-old Lori Ann Mann was arrested on March 2 and has since been charged with several misdemeanors, including theft, money laundering, and mischief to data.
The woman was arrested and charged after an internal audit revealed several unusual transactions involving Mann, who worked in the corporation’s Casino Tours Department. According to Winnipeg police, the Crown corporation first contacted the local financial crimes unit in May of 2019, reporting at the time incidents thought to have occurred on a regular basis since April 2017.
Bus Tours Her Modus Operandi
Mann had reportedly committed the bulk of the theft and fraud via special bus tour packages offered by Casinos of Winnipeg. The company provides a service whereby guests and tourists can pay to visit local casinos and related locations of interest and makes use of several different bus and transportation services for carrying guests about as they sight-see.
The payments due to these types of transportation providers are determined by the number of passengers booked on any given trip. This, said police, was how the employee had conducted most of the 300 cases of fraud and theft, i.e. by forging trip sheets in such a manner that a higher number of passengers were displayed than what had actually been present on the bus at the time of the tour. Mann had reportedly also falsified trips that never even took place, requesting illicit payments and refunds in such a way that huge sums were eventually paid back to either herself, or a bus company she had personally owned and run on the side.
Police have confirmed that the bus companies were found to have been unaware of the illicit payment requests and goings on. The charges against Mann have not yet been proven in court.
Corporation Lays Off Thousands
Aside from having been defrauded out of hundreds of thousands, the Manitoba Crown corporation has also had to lay off and/or temporarily discharge more than 1,300 of its staff members. This number of employees reportedly constitutes over 40 per cent of its entire staff profile.
The corporation has said that the layoffs were brought about the financial crisis created by countrywide closures of casinos and other gaming and entertainment establishments under its control for most of 2020, and that by laying off staff temporarily, it had saved roughly CA$1.3 million in salaries and expenses.