Criminal charges for million-dollar fraud scheme

Gregg Chamberlain
EAP
A Gatineau couple who masterminded a fraud scheme that bilked a Hawkesbury company out of more than $1 million will face criminal charges now.

Eric Danis, 51, and Anya Watson, 50, residents of Gatineau, have already gone through a civil court review and judgment on their actions that resulted in the loss of more than $1 million to Noreast Electronics in Hawkesbury. The company took action against the couple after its own forensic audit revealed that Danis, during his time as sales manager for the firm, had managed a false-invoicing scheme over an eight-year period.

Danis, with the help of Watson, his spouse, created false invoices from five Chinese companies that were suppliers to Noreast Electronics. The invoices included inflated prices for materials along with directions to send the payments to a bank in Wyoming.

When the money arrived, Danis did electronic transfers of the excess funds to one of several other bank accounts he had set up in the U.S. and Canada under the name of a numbered Canadian company. He would use the remaining money from the Wyoming account to pay the suppliers.

After its own forensic audit revealed the scheme, Noreast Electronics took civil court action against Danis and Watson. In September 2018 Ontario Superior Court Judge Sally Gomery ordered the couple and their company to reimburse Noreast Electronics for the money lost through the falsified invoices, pay for the cost of the forensic audit, and also pay punitive costs and interest.

Now the OPP have charged both people with fraud following a lengthy police investigation. The charges were filed August 11 and Danis and Watson are scheduled to appear in court in L’Orignal September 29.