Ex-CEO of N.S. development authority charged following forensic audit

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The Canadian Press

HALIFAX — RCMP say the CEO of a now-defunct regional development authority in Nova Scotia has been charged following an investigation into the agency’s practices and cash-flow problems.

The Mounties say 64-year-old Ronald Francis Anderson of Lake George, N.S., faces one count of fraud over $5,000 and eight counts of uttering forged documents.

The South West Shore Development Authority shut down in June 2012 and sought restructuring under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act six months later, leaving dozens of businesses on the hook for more than $2 million.

The provincial Department of Economic and Rural Development referred the matter to police last year after an independent forensic audit said there were problems with expense claims submitted by Anderson.

The audit, conducted by Ernst & Young, said Anderson told auditors that the provincial government and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency knew the development authority was having cash flow problems and were aware that not all invoices had been paid.

The audit also said the authority lost money every year between 2003 and 2010, except 2008 when it received $1.8 million for the sale of a former naval base.

Anderson is due in Yarmouth provincial court on Dec. 10.

Organizations: South West Shore Development Authority, Department of Economic and Rural Development, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Geographic location: Lake George, Yarmouth

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