The City of Ottawa has managed to get back more than half of the money it lost in a fraudulent transaction it disclosed earlier this month, according to a city memo sent Friday.
Before the Easter weekend, the city said it had lost $558,000 after a partner organization fell victim to an "illegal action." It now says $355,000 of that is on its way back to city bank accounts.
The city identified the Salvation Army Ottawa Booth Centre as the partner organization on Friday. It said the organization was working with the city and Ottawa police on this investigation.
In an emailed statement the Salvation Army said it was aware of what happened and that it was working with third-party experts to investigate further.
Banks tracking down funds
On Tuesday, the city filed a statement of claim in court in Toronto — where the misdirected funds were deposited in a bank.
"A legal action is required in cases of fraud when funds have to be retrieved from financial institutions," the memo reads.
At the same time it filed a request for an emergency motion seeking an order "authorizing and directing" TD Bank and other financial institutions to trace the funds and temporarily freeze any accounts where the stolen funds were deposited.
The motion was reviewed and the order was issued on Wednesday morning.
The order also requires the banks to disclose any information discovered during their tracing, including who the recipients are and where the funds are being held.
As a result of the order, city staff say they expect more money to be recovered soon.