4 Canadians charged in expenses probe

Feb. 14, 2011 at 5:28 PM

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- One current member and three ex-members of the Nova Scotia Legislature have been charged in a constituency expenses fraud probe, authorities said Monday.

Independent provincial lawmaker Trevor Zinck and former members Richard Hurlburt, Russell MacKinnon and David Wilson all face charges of fraud over $5,000 and breach of trust, the CBC reported. Zinck also faces two counts of theft over $5,000.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced the charges that capped an eight-month investigation that began after Auditor General Jacques Lapointe released a report revealing "excessive" and "unreasonable" claims by some of the province's 52 legislators. Expense claims were submitted for a range of items, including televisions, custom furniture and a generator, the CBC said.

The Legislature reformed the expense system last spring.

Last spring, the provincial legislature voted to revamp the MLA expense system.

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