York Regional Police have charged five people from with defrauding the city of Vaughan of more than $2 million.

Police say the investigation prompted by an internal city audit.

It’s alleged a Water, Wastewater and Drainage Department employee, with the assistance of three family members and a friend, set up fictitious companies as vendors to the city.

Investigators say approximately 1,000 fraudulent purchase orders were approved over 13 years, paying out approximately $2.4 million to the fictitious companies for services that were never rendered.

Benjamin Ciampichini, 57, Anna Ciampichini, 54, Vittorio Ciampichini, 59, Linda Ciampichini, 60, and Michele D’Agostino, 50, face charges of fraud over $5,000 and conspiracy to commit fraud.

The accused have been released and are scheduled to appear in court in Newmarket court on Sept. 17.