Quebec's anti-corruption police arrest two suspects in alleged Lester B. Pearson School Board fraud

Quebec's anti-corruption police force says it has arrested two people in connection with an alleged fraud scheme at a major Montreal-area English-language school board.

Police said Friday in a news release Caroline Mastantuono and Christina Mastantuono will face fraud-related charges stemming from their time as employees with the Lester B. Pearson School Board.

The anti-corruption unit, known as UPAC, says it's still looking for a third suspect in the case; it says the suspects who were arrested have been released on a promise to appear in court in January.

Caroline Mastantuono, a former director of the board's international department, is alleged to have collaborated with a recruitment firm to produce and use false documents, causing a financial risk to the board and deceiving the Immigration Department.

Christina Mastantuono, an employee in the same department, is alleged to have participated in the scheme, which allegedly took place between 2014 and 2016.

In a statement, the school board said that it "became aware of irregularities in the International Studies department in 2016," and that it immediately reported the irregularities to the Ministry of Education and to UPAC.

"Subsequent to this the Lester B. Pearson School Board undertook a thorough restructuring of the International Studies department," the statement said.

"The individuals identified in the press release published today by UPAC are no longer employed by the school board since 2016."

The board said it won't be commenting further as the case is before the courts.

The unit says both suspects will be charged with production of false documents, forgery and fraud, while Caroline Mastantuono will also be charged with breach of trust.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 20, 2020.

--With files from CTV News

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