Four women charged with defrauding the Government of Canada

A 74-year-old Cape Breton woman and her three daughters have been charged with defrauding the federal government of more than $3.6 million.

Federal officials say the four women, from Sydney Mines, Sydney, Kentville and Leitches Creek, are facing a total of 30 charges under the Criminal Code and the Excise Act.

Also named are 10 companies owned and operated by the family, including a hair-loss clinic, a restaurant and a children's clothing company.

Some of the charges allege the women used their companies over a five-year period to claim GST refunds to which they were not entitled.