03/31/2015 04:43 EDT | Updated 05/31/2015 05:59 EDT

Éric Turcotte accused of million-dollar employment insurance fraud

A Montreal man is facing charges for 44 counts of employment insurance fraud.

Éric Turcotte, 43, was arrested for allegedly creating and using over 80 identities to submit false statements.

Police estimate the scheme could have cost the government as much as one million dollars.

The investigation, led by the RCMP Major Fraud Unit, was launched in March 2013 following a complaint by Service Canada.

RCMP allege Turcotte used false birth certificates, several social insurance numbers, records of employment from fictitious employers and various identity documents to apply for employment insurance benefits.

Turcotte faces charges of fraud exceeding $5,000, use, trafficking or possession of forged document and identity fraud. He is scheduled to appear in court in Montreal on April 1st.