© Guardian photo
Johnstons River resident Kenneth Walter Lawrence, 53, has been charged with fraud exceeding $3 million.
Charlottetown police announced Wednesday they had arrested Lawrence after a seven month long investigation into the commercial crime, which saw the Royal Bank of Canada allegedly defrauded in the amount of $3,632,000.
Deputy chief Richard Collins said the man, who operated Discount Car and Truck Rentals and Fleet First Auto Sales on Brackley Point Road, had allegedly provided false vehicle information to the bank in order to secure financial funding.
“It was tedious. There was a forensic audit conducted and we also had to execute search warrants to obtain personal banking information,” said Collins.
The banks commercial investigative branch also assisted police in compiling banking information.
Discount Car and Truck Rentals is now operated through the company and no longer connected to the former franchisee. Fleet First Auto Sales is no longer at the location.
The investigation began after Price Waterhouse audited the bank in late 2012.
Collins said the audit result caused the company to contact police to look for any potential criminal activity.
He said it’s unknown if the audit was routine, or whether the bank had been looking for fraudulent activity.
“It could have been a routine audit,” he said.
Collins said police began investigating on January 16 earlier this year.
The alleged offense took place between Jan. 2011 and Dec. 2012.
Lawrence is scheduled to appear in provincial court on Oct. 17, 2013.
He has been released from custody until then.