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Sen. Wallin suspected of fraud, breach of trust: RCMP

Tony Spears, Multimedia Journalist
Ottawa Sun

By Tony Spears, Ottawa Sun

<p>Suspended Senator Pamela Wallin delivers a statement to journalists about an audit examining her expenses on Parliament Hill in Ottawa August 12, 2013.     REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Suspended Senator Pamela Wallin delivers a statement to journalists about an audit examining her expenses on Parliament Hill in Ottawa August 12, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Suspended Saskatchewan Senator Pamela Wallin double dipped on her taxpayer-funded expenses -- including on a trip to Toronto to visit an ex-boyfriend -- and demanded that staff worried about her expense filings, "do it anyway," new court documents allege.

RCMP investigators believe Wallin committed a string of frauds and breaches of trust between 2009 and 2012, according to documents released Monday.

Wallin hasn't been charged with any criminal offence, but the documents -- sworn statements from an investigator looking into allegedly dodgy Senate expense claims -- show Mounties believe she "fraudulently sought reimbursement" of nearly $28,000 "while travelling to Toronto to pursue her personal and business interest."

"Senator Wallin's conduct represents a serious and marked departure from the standards expected of a Canadian Senator," the RCMP affidavit concludes.

The affidavit was sworn to get a court order for documents from wealth management firm Gluskin Sheff and Associates, and from Porter Airlines.

Wallin had sat on the boards of both until resigning in 2013.

Investigators believe she filed bogus travel claims to Toronto as part of her business relationship with those firms a total of 25 times between 2009 and 2012.

RCMP also believe she may have received compensation from Porter and Gluskin Sheff for her travel expenses -- as well as the money she claimed from the Senate.

Interviews with her former staff suggest discomfort with Wallin's claims.

An executive assistant who worked with Wallin in 2009 told Mounties she recalled "instances where she expressed doubts to Senator Wallin regarding the eligibility of some expenses which she believes were personal expenses."

Wallin would tell the staffer that she'd checked with the right people and all was kosher, the document says.

"At times Senator Wallin would get mad, telling (the staffer) something to the effect of 'do it, just get it done, do it anyway,'" the RCMP affidavit says.

Investigators also spoke to an old flame about a February 2010 trip to Toronto.

The trip was allegedly for a meeting written in Wallin's calendar, but the ex-boyfriend couldn't confirm to RCMP if the meeting had taken place.

"Senator Wallin used public funds to travel to Toronto in order to pursue these private and business interests," the affidavit concludes.

"Senator Wallin, when confronted by an external audit, misrepresented the nature of these trips to Toronto, and at time (sic), fabricating meetings which the RCMP was able to determine ... to have never taken place."

A Deloitte report cited in the affidavit showed Wallin claimed more than $500,000 in travel expenses between 2009 and 2012.

She has repaid nearly $155,000 without admitting any wrongdoing.

Twitter: @ottawasuntonys



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