File Photo.

File Photo.

Sylvan Lake woman charged with fraud over $500,000

Rimbey RCMP launched an investigation in July 2019 with the suspect turning herself in on Aug. 30

A Sylvan Lake woman has been charged with fraud over $500,000 after an investigation by Rimbey RCMP.

Following an investigation beginning in July 2019 Laurie May Watts, 55, was charged with theft over $5,000, use of credit card data, forge a document and uttering a forged document.

The alleged fraudulent transactions total in excess of $500,000.

According to a press release, on July 24 the Rimbey RCMP were made aware that a local business believed one of their employees was taking cash from the business account and an investigation was launched immediately.

On Aug. 30 the suspect turned herself in and was arrested by the RCMP.

The investigation showed the fraudulent activity started as early as February 2017.

“The investigation is complex and RCMP members continue to work on obtaining different pieces of information from various financial institutions,” states the press release.

Watts appeared in Rimbey Provincial Court on Dec. 6 and is scheduled to return on March 6, 2020.