It took years, but Toronto Police were finally able to lay charges against those involved in bridle-path fraud scheme. The scheme has been going on since 2013 and has been using fake home ownership papers to get mortgage money.
What is the Bridle Path Fraud Scheme?
The Bridle Path Fraud Scheme is a mortgage scam wherein both people and companies pose as expensive home owners to scam private lenders for mortgage. The scam got it’s name from one of the properties used to commit fraud using their scheme – a bridle path mansion.
Following a five-year investigation, Toronto police were able to arrest and charge 4 individuals for the series of mortgage fraud committed code-named as the Bridle Path scam. The fraudsters were able to net about $17M from using properties that are not theirs to borrow money in a mortgage fraud.
The charges filed are related to reportedly fraudulent transactions that involve two luxury houses in Toronto’s Bridle Path area plus some other properties located in equally affluent neighbourhoods. The arrests took about a month. The 4 charged individuals are currently out on bail.
The police shared that the fraudsters have been committing fraud since 2013 applying for mortgages under false documents that include fake property insurance certificates and title insurance. The alleged fraudsters are:
- Arash Missaghi, 48, of Richmond Hill. Currently facing charges of fraud, uttering a forged document, and conspiracy
- Grant Erlick, 45, of Toronto. Currently facing charges for money laundering, fraud, and conspiracy
- Masumeh Shaer-Valaie, 48, of Richmond Hill is facing same as above
- Bob Bahram Aziz Beiki, 53, of Toronto. Currently facing a forgery charge
Note that the charges above are not yet proven in court.
Cracking the Case
The investigation started 5 years ago after a civil lawsuit was filed for a series of mortgage frauds. It should be noted that mortgage fraud has been steadily rising in Toronto for the past decade. Both the law’s and enforcer’s hands are tied when it comes to complex cases due to difficulty procuring data.
Lead investigator Alan Fazeli of Toronto Police shared that the delay was largely due to the absence of one Golpaz Vakili, a disbarred lawyer who’s been involved in other fraud charges.
More Mortgage Fraud?
Currently, there is an increased concern about rising mortgage fraud cases due to people lying or forging their financial details so that they can get a larger mortgage. While this isn’t outright scamming, this is still a type of fraud. The police brought this up as just one of the many shady practices that are going on. They target mortgage businesses and private lenders.
Worried that you’ll be victimised by mortgage fraud as well? With fraud cases becoming alarmingly high and filtering through almost everything (there are even stories of pharmacy fraud and fraud targeting seniors), it pays to be extra vigilant. Contact us to find out how our private investigation services can help you in this matter.