Police say head of Montreal seniors home billed for services that weren't provided

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MONTREAL — The head of a private seniors residence in Montreal has been charged with fraud after he allegedly billed a regional health authority for resident services that were never provided.

Paul Asselin, 60, produced fake invoices using the names of people who were not living at the care home at the time the services were allegedly provided, Quebec anti-corruption police allege. The Unité permanente anticorruption says the alleged fraud took place between March 18, 2021, and April 30, 2022.

Asselin, who runs Les Jardins de Jouvence residence in Montreal's Mercier—Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough, has been charged with fraud under $5,000, forgery and use of a forged document. The value of the fraud is estimated at more than $4,000, police say.

The local heath authority declined to comment directly on the case, but Christian Merciari, an assistant to the president and CEO, said the agency is reviewing its verification process "to ensure greater control over our process of paying invoices."

"Our ultimate objective is to ensure that the care that is billed for corresponds with care that is verifiably provided in our partners," Merciari, with the public health authority — CIUSSS de l'Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal — wrote in an email Thursday.

Asselin is scheduled to appear in court on May 31.

The Jardins de Jouvence residence did not immediately respond to a request from comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 27, 2023.

The Canadian Press