Cleaner facing fraud charges

  • Feb. 11, 2011 8:00 a.m.

A 53-year-old Sooke woman faces fraud charges after she allegedly stole and used personal cheques from a Saanich home she was hired to clean.

But Saanich police say there may be more people in the Capital Region who have employed the woman through her house-cleaning business and unknowingly fell victim.

“It’s taken (financial crimes investigators) some time to do bank record searches, but they suspect there’s more than one victim out there,” Sgt. Dean Jantzen said.

Pauline Marjorie Francis faces one count each of fraud and forging documents. More charges are being considered.

She was released last Friday on conditions that she not clean any private residence, not collect money for doing so and not advertise cleaning services.

Take extra steps when hiring someone to do work inside your home, including asking for references and trusting your instincts, Jantzen said.

“Make sure items easily taken and used fraudulently like credit cards, identification, personal cheques, etc. are safety put away,” he said.

Anyone wishing to speak with the Saanich police financial crimes unit is asked to call 250-475-4321.