For the past 13 years, Inez Varrin of Mississauga, Ontario, has been receiving monthly electronic payments from the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board - to the tune of $190,000. Varrin, however, has been dead since 1999.
According to an article in the Barrie Advance, police allege that Varrin's daughter, Clara Hamilton, and her partner, Ron Karr, have been receiving the money. Hamilton and Karr now face fraud charges.
Police Det.-Const. Troy Higgins told the Barrie Advance that law enforcement officials uncovered the fraud when conducting a drug raid at a home in May 2012. Officials found Varrin's bank card in the home. "The name was unrelated to the people in the home, so we started looking into it," Higgins told the newspaper.
Upon further investigation, authorizes learned that Varrin was Hamilton's mother, and that Hamilton never informed the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of her mother's death - allowing money to continue to pour into Varrin's bank account.
While Hamilton was not convicted in the drug case, according to the newspaper, Karr pleaded guilty to drug charges involving the sale of the painkiller fentanyl. Authorities have charged the couple with possession of stolen goods.
Authorities have not recovered any of the $190,000 in workers' compensation payments, according to the Barrie Advance. However, if Hamilton and Karr are convicted of fraud, the courts could order them to pay restitution.