The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Friday said Bruce Carson was formally charged the previous day with
one count of defrauding the government, The Globe and Mail reported. The prime minister's office asked for an investigation after the Aboriginal People's Television Network reported on Carson's alleged influence-peddling on behalf of H20 Pros, an Ottawa water company.
Carson, 66, has a checkered past.
In the 1980s, he was disbarred and then sentenced to 18 months for fraud. But he became one of Harper's top aides, working on energy policy. Between 2006 and 2009, when he worked for the prime minister, he was nicknamed "The Mechanic" because of his supposed ability to fix anything, the Globe said.
Carson allegedly violated a Canadian law barring officials with the national government from lobbying for five years after they leave office. He is charged with trying to use his influence with the government to sell water filtration systems to Canada's Indian tribes.
Harper's office also referred the matter to offices dealing with ethics and lobbying.
"Any individual who doesn't respect our laws must face their full force as well as the consequences that come with them," Andrew McDougall, a spokesman for the prime minister, said.
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