150 workers at Baycrest fired or quit over benefits fraud

150 workers at Baycrest fired or quit over benefits fraud

Baycrest has fired, or accepted the resignations of, about 150 employees for alleged benefits fraud.

The prominent geriatric facility on Bathurst St. said in a statement emailed to the Star that concerns about misuse of health-care benefits arose last year. The facility said it retained an outside auditor to look into the situation. The audit found “irregularities,” and a subsequent workplace investigation discovered many employees had been misusing the benefits plan for years.

“We are extremely disappointed by these findings as we view any misuse of our benefits plan as inconsistent with our policies and procedures and incompatible with our Baycrest values,” the statement reads.

Baycrest said the terminated employees and those who resigned worked in a variety of positions.

None of the allegations against the terminated employees have been proven in court.

The alleged scams are similar to a health-benefits claims scandal that rocked the TTC a few years ago — in which 10 employees were criminally charged and more than 150 others either were fired, resigned or retired to avoid dismissal. The TTC scheme involved local orthotics store Healthy Fit providing bogus receipts for services that were never received, or ballooning costs for insurance claims that TTC workers charged to Manulife Financial.

Baycrest says it has “comprehensive plan in place” to ensure there’s adequate staffing and continued service delivery during the abrupt mass termination.

“To help prevent a similar occurrence in the future, we will ensure that our external benefits administrator will conduct additional audits, we will set up an approved provider network, and further education will be provided to our staff regarding our benefits, what they are for and what constitutes misuse of our benefits plan,” the statement says.

Gilbert Ngabo is a breaking news reporter based in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @dugilbo

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