Trump University’s Mississauga Couple Lecturers Fined for Fraud

mississauga-fraud

A Mississauga husband and wife team who taught Canadian courses for Trump University was found to have been involved in a lot of dubious activities via a joint investigation conducted by The Associated Press and The Canadian Press.

The couple, Dave Ravindra and Rita Bahadur, used aliases, lost a real estate licence, declared multiple bankruptcies and were involved in a multimillion-dollar fraud swindle. They taught Trump courses in Canadian cities 6 years ago.

Shady Speakers and Staff?

Prior to this, Trump assured people who were registering for his program that only the best people whom he had handpicked himself will teach the financial success courses at his facility. Still, people with spotty credentials (like the couple in this article) were found to be teaching at Trump University, both in the US and now in Canada.

In the past, The Associated Press has already reported about four convicted felons being part of the roster of Trump University’s staff and speakers. The felons included a former army sergeant who was court-martialed for molesting the 8-year old daughter of a fellow soldier and Florida cocaine-trafficker. About half of the 68 reviewed staffers have backgrounds which included home foreclosures, tax liens, credit card defaults, personal bankruptcies, or other indicators of money troubles.

Partners in Crime?

The Associated Press also has records which show that Canadian courses were taught by people masquerading as someone else but were actually Chandramattie Dave and Ravindra Dave from Mississauga, Ontario. The same couple who migrated to Canada from Guyana decades ago and whose names can be seen in provincial securities and federal bankruptcy records.

Industry Canada records showed that the couple has filed for numerous personal bankruptcies in the past, at least 4 times since 2001. It also came to light that the couple used at least 9 different names, mainly combinations of their names or a mixing of the order of the middle, first, and last name.

Last year, Ontario’s stock-market regulator found out that the couple defrauded numerous Canadian investors from 2009 to 2012. A certain ‘Dave Ravindra’ with the same home address was also found to have been stripped off of his real estate licence in Ontario before he lectured for Trump University.

Fraud Uncovered

The Ontario Securities Commission also concluded that Ravindra Dave started two investment companies about 10 years ago but those companies were never registered. The same companies sold securities without the OSC’s permission as well.

Real estate seminars were organized in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario by the couple. During the seminars, they urged people to invest with a promise that the fixed returns will be at least 10% per year. They were able to make 34 investors purchase CDN$5.4 million worth of unregistered securities. The investors lost most of their money, as shared by the securities regulator.

The settlement document said that Ravindra and Chandramattie were engaged in fraudulent conduct and used other people’s funds for their personal benefit.

The 2015 settlement said that of the invested money, $750,000 went to the couple’s family members, $90,000 went to their mortgage payments, $1 million went to the companies they controlled, and $150,000 paid down their credit card bills.

A former investor shared that the fraud has taken an emotional and financial toll on her family but declined to say more about the case.

The couple was given 29 penalties in the settlement agreement as a result of their actions, including a fine for $300,000, $25,000 for administrative costs, and $3.3 million to be given back to people they’ve hurt through the years. Chandramattie Dave is also now permanently banned from trading securities while Ravindra Dave is banned for 20 years. They can no longer manage investment funds or serve as officers or directors of any companies that deal with securities. We can all breathe a bit better now.

Worried that you’re dealing with the wrong sort of people? Invest in your future by getting answers with the help of private investigation services. Contact us today to find out more how we can help you against fraud. When it comes to investing, it is always better to be safe than sorry!

 

Mississauga Grocery Stores May Be Selling Some Fraudulent Products

fraud-investigations-mississauga

Grocery stores are the last place you’ll expect to be sold some fraudulent products. The more surprising thing about this is this is all about being sold some organic chicken that was never organic, to begin with!

It is no secret that organic products cost more than regular grocery items. You surely won’t be receiving it well if you hear that what you’ve been paying a premium price for isn’t what it claims to be.

Not Your Kind of Chicken

That’s what the issue is in here. Cericola Farms, an Ontario poultry producer, has been recently reported in a Globe and Mail article to be charged with mislabeling their regular chicken with a “certified organic” label.

According to the Globe, many company representatives appeared in the court in Barrie recently to face 8 charges of fraud, false labeling, and misrepresentation. The charges were filed after a CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) inspection.

Some people may think that this is only a trivial matter. After all, some people see no difference with ‘posh’ organic grocery versus regular food items. The truth is, the charges are incredibly scandalous.

But why?

Organic products are typically sold at a price that can be as much as double as regular counterparts, this fraud case is extra troubling.

Cericola Farms issued a statement to the Globe denying the allegations and saying that The Globe’s reports are unfounded. They also added that their facilities are routinely inspected by several regulators including the CFIA.

Not the First

Cericola is not the first company to face a mislabeling and misrepresentation issue although they’re denying the allegations.

The Globe shares that Cericola’s former director of operations came forward last year and shared that fraudulent labeling has been an ongoing concern at the company. The former director of operations shared that she has personally witnessed the “certified organic” label being applied to regular chicken that was meant to be sent to chain grocers.

In view of this, Blue Goose issued a statement in 2015 stating that Cericola denied the allegations and told them that the accusations were false. Cericola also claimed that they’ve been compliant in all inspections and audits in connection to Blue Goose and that they aren’t involved in any improper labeling.

Current Situation

The Globe says that as of now, they still do not know if Blue Goose and big grocers will still distribute or sell Cericola goods.

We also do not know what will come out of these charges although it is still a positive thing that this came to light so that consumers can be more careful about being a victim of fraudulent food labeling. It is certainly wrong to charge shoppers a premium for deliberately mislabeled food items.

If you’ve got a say in this issue, do you think that Mississauga’s grocers should stop selling Cericola’s goods until this issue has been cleared? Or are you of another frame of mind and think that there’s no harm in still selling Cericola’s products until we see what will become of the charges?

Suspect any sort of fraud? You can find out the truth by availing of our private investigation services! Contact us and let us know what’s bothering you. Your initial consultation is absolutely obligation free!

Mississauga Furniture Store Have Been Discovered to be Scamming Customers for Years!

mississauga-fraud

Fraud exists everywhere, but you’re not likely to think a furniture store has been the haven for it for years!

Mississauga’s Rooms and Furniture Accessories has been serving customers since 2012 and it looks like they’ve been defrauding people since then. Just a quick google search and you’ll find complaints after complaints bearing the message DO NOT BUY. What’s incredible about all this is the fact that the store still seems to be operating today and still doing harm to people.

Canadian Fraud News received a message from one Alex, a guy who lost about $55,000 from being defrauded by Rooms and Furniture Accessories in November last year. The huge amount is because he owns a printing company and agreed to create and print flyers for the store. All 3 cheques that were issued to him bounced at the bank.

Numerous Fraud Victims Online

Kimberley, a customer who ordered new furniture at Rooms and Furniture Accessories in April, was asked by the store to pay a deposit so that she can have her furniture at the reservation price. She was shocked to find out that the store was permanently closed when she went there to pick up the furniture she bought. She further shares that she never got her money back and called the owners “thieves”.

Sandra, a customer from February posted a similar story. She purchased a couch set back in late 2015 that was supposed to be delivered in January this year. January came and went and her furniture did not arrive. The store kept giving her excuses such as her furniture still being in China or that the deliveryman was sick. After waiting for more than 3 months, she then realized that she has been scammed. Up to this day, no one contacted her or told her why her couch set was never delivered. She says that the people at the store are “scammers”.

In the same vein, someone who called himself/herself confused consumers says that he/she would like to know how come the store is still in business. This poster said that the store may be running some sort of Ponzi scheme. The poster elaborated that the store could be taking a customer’s money to pay for someone’s order that has been used to pay another person’s order and so forth.

What Actions Can Victims Take?

Fraud recovery lawyer Norman Groot shares that he handles a lot of consumer fraud cases and says a case like this is not uncommon. He described the situation as a straightforward case with the problem being the cost of litigation preventing complainants from coming forward. After all, there would be no litigation process if Rooms do not respond to demand letters. He also says that for this reason, most people do not push through going to court for small cases like this. This is also why most simply post online or on social media to warn future victims.

Groot further states that if a victim truly wishes to press for civil action, the first step to do so is to hire an initial retainer who will conduct an investigation and determine the best course of action to take to recover lost funds and/or damages.

Are you facing a similar issue and need professional help to dig for evidence? Contact us and we’ll see which of our private investigation services we can help you with!

Mississauga Man pleads guilty in CRA phone scam

mississauga-fraud

By Susan Gamble, Brantford Expositor

A Mississauga man has been convicted in Brantford court in a Canada Revenue Agency phone scam.

Mohammadakib Shaikh, 25, pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud after three victims were ordered to pay immediately to settle “out of court” for back taxes they were told they owed the CRA.

Shaikh was sentenced on Aug. 16 by Justice Robert Gee. He got a five-month conditional sentence of house arrest and was ordered to pay back almost $12,000 to the victims, including a Brantford man.

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says that the CRA scam is growing at an alarming rate.

A senior fraud specialist told the CBC this week that 800 people reported being taken by this scam in the first half of 2016, that’s more than in all of last year.

And the anti-fraud agency figures it’s seeing about only five per cent of actual cases.

During one week last June, Shaikh contacted three people and told them that arrest warrants had been prepared in their names because they hadn’t responded to previous attempts by the CRA to contact them.

The victims were told they owed back taxes or had been audited and had misrepresented their income.

A Whitby woman was told a warrant would be executed within the hour if she didn’t pay $2,900.

The victims each sent money through Western Union, MoneyGram or directly into a bank account registered to Shaikh.

Each victim was then contacted again and told the CRA required additional court fees.

The Brantford man sent $1,286 but became suspicious and called police after being told to send another $2,165.

A Kitchener man made two payments, totalling $3,550.

The Whitby woman sent $6,400.

A police investigation found Shaikh was cashing the payments by using his personal bank account.

Brantford police Insp. Dave Wiedrick said their investigation led to the other victims.

Shaikh must replay $11,900 and will remain on probation for three years.

Wiedrick said the police continue to warn people about the CRA scam.

He said that the scam always involves people saying they are CRA investigators and that victims haven’t paid their taxes and failed to respond to numerous communications from CRA.

The fraudster uses a high-pressure tactic to scare the victim into transferring money through Western Union, Moneygram or by purchasing pre-paid credit cards or iTunes cards.

Brantford police urge people to hang up on such callers and always confirm with a family member or bank before transferring any funds.

And police said the people should never send personal or financial information over unsecured email or give out such information to unknown people over the telephone.

If contacted about your personal financial accounts by email, never click on a web link to “verify” or “confirm” information, said police.

The CRA doesn’t operate using wire transfers or pre-paid cards and doesn’t use scare tactics.

Educate yourself about the latest scams by visiting the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s website at www.antifraudcentre.ca or call to report fraudulent calls at 1-888-495-8501.

Former Region of Peel employee charged with fraud, breach of trust

Mississauga-Private-investigations

A Toronto woman and former Region of Peel employee is facing fraud charges after an investigation involving a spiritual healer and false claims being made for benefits totalling $50,000.

The accused woman worked as a case worker for the Ontario Works Assistance Program for the Region of Peel from Aug. 21, 2009 to June 6, 2014 before being terminated, police said.

She was charged after police allege a Region of Peel employee issued funds to people who met specific legislated criteria for eligibility in receiving “monetary benefits” and allege people were “manipulated” into making false claims for benefits offered by the Region of Peel.

The Peel employee would personally approve the cases and receive “personal monetary gain” from them, police said in a release.

Officers also say the employee introduced clients to her husband who posed as a spiritual healer and would offer his services to these clients and receive payment.

Police say the Region of Peel employee “benefitted financially” and “misused her authority” as she had access to her husband’s case file and “issued him funds he was not eligible for.”

Police say the total amount of funds involved in the fraud is $50,000.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Sandra Samaroo, 50, of Toronto, is charged with fraud over $5,000 and breach of trust. Her common law spouse, Mootilal Ramphal, 57, of Toronto, is charged with fraud over $5,000.

Anyone with information can call police at 905-453-2121, ext. 3330.  Information can also be left anonymously by calling Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or by visiting their website at www.peelcrimestoppers.ca, or by sending a text message to CRIMES (274637) with the word “Peel” and then your tip.

Mississauga man faces fraud, corruption charges

halton-fraud

Via the Hamilton Spectator By Steve Arnold

A former Halton Region official has been charged with fraud, corruption and taking kickbacks in connection with the handling of more than $100 million in construction projects.

The charges against David Ohashi were announced Wednesday morning by Halton police in a news release.

Police said the charges followed a year-long investigation prompted by an anonymous tip last year. The investigation centred on allegations the veteran manager “gained personal benefit between November 2010 and January 2016 by providing confidential information and advantage to contractors that he had personal relationships with.”

Ohashi, 56, of Mississauga, was fired from his $125,000-a-year position as manager of Plant Capital and Engineering in January after 16 years with the region.

He faces charges of fraud under $5,000, use of a forged document, three counts of municipal corruption and three counts of accepting secret commissions.

“Ohashi’s position within the region also permitted him to approve maintenance and/or construction to the region’s infrastructure that was later deemed not necessary or without justification,” the police news release said. “Ohashi also submitted altered business expense claims to the region for personal travel outside of Canada.”

The police charges are allegations only. Nothing has been proven in court.

Det. Const. Keith Nakahara, of the Halton police fraud bureau, said in an interview that Ohashi’s position gave him control of construction projects for the region’s sewer and water treatment facilities.

“These were complicated projects that allowed someone to misrepresent details about the contracts,” he said. “He had the chance to create a situation where companies he wanted to succeed could win contracts.

Nakahara said the charges levelled Wednesday concern three large projects valued at more than $100 million. He would not specify the projects because the investigation is continuing into some of the companies involved in those contracts.

Nakahara said the investigation was a complicated affair that included obtaining more than 15 judicial authorizations — basically search warrants — to access banking and other institutional records.

Throughout the course of the probe, he added, Halton region officials co-operated at every stage. Officials also conducted an internal probe that led to Ohashi’s firing on Jan. 21.

Police added “the investigation did not uncover any information that would indicate wrongdoing by any other current or former member of the Region of Halton.”

Halton staff, citing ongoing legal proceedings, refused to elaborate on how an alleged fraud could go on for more than five years without being uncovered.

“Because of the legal proceedings, we are unable to comment on specifics. We have fully cooperated with the police investigation and will continue to do so,” regional spokesperson Stacey Hunter said in an email exchange.

“Halton Region has a rigorous code of conduct and a comprehensive corporate fraud policy. We have a robust program of controls in place to prevent or identify inappropriate behaviour including: a strongly adhered to purchasing bylaw, and related policies and procedures and an internal audit group,” she said. “We are confident we have the systems and oversight in place to protect the taxpayer.”

Regional chair Gary Carr, through the communications staff, refused further comment. Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring, also a regional councillor, similarly refused comment through his staff.

In a telephone interview, planning and public works committee chair Colin Best said the question of how the alleged frauds went on so long will be covered in a report the committee expects to receive at its Sept. 3 meeting.

Despite the allegations, he said taxpayers can be assured their money is being properly handled.

“That’s why we have our control measures, to ensure that the taxpayer’s interests are protected,” he said.

Ohashi is scheduled to appear in court in Milton on Sept. 13.

Halton police ask that anyone with information relevant to the ongoing investigation call the Regional Fraud Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 8739. Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477, through haltoncrimestoppers.com or by texting Tip201 with a message to 274637.

Mississauga man gets nine months for fraud conspiracy

mississauga-fraud2

A Mississauga man has been given nine months in jail for his part in a fake identity scheme in Hamilton, Toronto and Kitchener used to obtain bank credit or loans.

Nashaid Iqbal Bhatti and another man were charged in 2014 by the RCMP with fraud and money-laundering related to creating fake identities used to acquire legitimate pieces of ID and, ultimately, bank loans.

On Wednesday, Bhatti, 45, pleaded guilty in a Hamilton court to conspiring in Toronto to defraud financial institutions of more than $5,000 — and to using a forged citizenship certificate in Kitchener. He was given a nine-month sentence.

His co-accused, Tahir Mahmood, a Toronto cab driver, was sentenced in a Kitchener court on July 13 to 90 days’ intermittent jail time after pleading guilty to a charges including fraud over $5,000 and conspiracy to commit fraud.

The RCMP began investigating in 2013 after a Hamilton airport border officer intercepted what was believed to be a fake citizenship card that came from the United Arab Emirates and was destined for a Hamilton address.

Hamilton RCMP alleged fictitious Hamilton companies were created with local addresses to launder money through them and then either converted to bank drafts or moved overseas.

Car insurer’s fraud effort drives good Mississauga customer away


mississauga-fraud

By

I’ve been driving for a long time, and my insurance company has never asked to visit my house to check that the car I say I own is in the driveway. Nor has it asked to see my hydro bill to prove I live at the address I list on the policy.

But it can. And it did, to Jacinta Kanakaratnam, 31, whose insurance with Allstate Canada was up for renewal. Her story is an interesting look at how insurers try to fight fraud, but sometimes catch a good customer in the net. The consequence in this case is that Allstate may still have the bad ones, but it has also lost a good one.

Kanakaratnam had been an Allstate customer for a year. She received a policy renewal letter in early July, which included the standard questionnaire that updates policy information and is approved by Ontario’s insurance regulator. But she also got a second one, generated internally by the company, asking for more information.

Kanakaratnam was told the supporting documents on the second form had to be delivered in person to the Scarborough East office on Kingston Rd., where she purchased the insurance policy a year ago. This was even though she lives 50 kilometres away in Mississauga, and Allstate has offices that are closer to her home.

Allstate also wanted a report from the Ministry of Transportation outlining the driving history of every licensed household member. She would have to pay for this. The insurer wanted to visit her home and inspect her car. It asked for a copy of the car’s ownership and a utility bill to prove she lived where she said she did.

“When I received the letter, I was shocked and offended,” says Kanakaratnam. “I’ve had no claims in 10 years of driving, no late payments. Why would they ask me for this?”

As it turns out, Kanakaratnam was caught up in a broader initiative, and her upset was made worse by customer service in which common sense did not prevail. She got different answers from different people, including the head office. The personal touch was completely absent and so, confused and angry, she came to The Star for help.

Her case now sits with the company’s ombud, but it’s a moot point. She’s taking her business elsewhere.

“We appreciate the customer’s concerns and confusion around the request and we apologize for that,” said Allstate Canada spokesman Nicole Watts. “The request is to protect our customers and ensure they have proper coverage.”

Kanakaratnam has never made an insurance claim and pays her premiums on time. She has owned the same car for a decade and has lived her entire life with her family in their Mississauga home. Why would she generate red flags on renewal?

Insurance companies are in the business of assessing risk; based on that, they set their prices. In the GTA, Brampton and Scarborough are higher-risk places to insure a car, because insurance companies have a higher claims experience there. So you pay more for car insurance if you live there.

One way people who live in high-risk areas try to beat this system is to claim that they live somewhere else. Another common fraud is to insure a very old car, which then has an accident and is written off.

To an Allstate database, Kanakaratnam’s file could cause concerns. She lives in Mississauga but insures in Scarborough. She drives a 2004 Nissan Altima.

But a little human intervention would have reached a different conclusion. Kanakaratnam bought her insurance in Scarborough because she met an Allstate broker who worked at the Scarborough East office at a social function. (He no longer works for the company, she says.) He convinced her to try Allstate and issued the policy there.

Kanakaratnam has lived at the same Mississauga address for more than 25 years, she said. She bought the Altima in 2007 and while it is getting older, she rarely uses it during the week, preferring public transit. She has been insured for a decade without a claim.

Related: 10 things to know about car insurance

Allstate’s Watts said the company sends out the second request letters “when we have concerns based on trends or suspected instances so we can confirm the accuracy of our policies.”

She indicated the company had concerns about where some customers insuring through the Scarborough East agency actually lived. Many renewal letters sent via registered mail were coming back marked Return to Sender, indicating invalid addresses. So the company initiated a wider request for information. Kanakaratnam’s profile added her to the list.

“When we send these requests to a broad group, there are customers with good history and accurate records who receive them as well,” Watts said. “This may be the case for Jacinta. She was not targeted and was simply part of a broader verification exercise.”

Insurance fraud costs all of us, and is one reason why Ontario has the highest car insurance premiums in the country. Allstate, and other insurers, should rightly go after it.

But Allstate couldn’t seem to distinguish a good customer from a bad one. Nor did it seem to make much effort to find out the difference.

Mississauga man facing 54 charges for online credit card fraud

Mississauga-Private-investigations

A Mississauga man is facing 54 criminal charges following a four-month investigation into a series of alleged online credit card scams that were carried out across the Greater Toronto Area.

Halton regional police allege that someone placed several online orders at Best Buy using stolen credit card data. The packages were later intercepted by the accused after they were delivered by Canada Post, police say.

Police allege that the accused sometimes posed as a mail courier, trying to pick up the items from people who were understandably confused as to why packages were being delivered to their homes.

York, Durham and Peel regional police helped Halton in the investigation. Together, investigators arrested the accused after two alleged victims took photos and videos of a man who came to their doors to retrieve packages.

The accused is facing charges connected to 14 incidents that are alleged to have happened from Oakville to Minden, Ont. It is alleged that he spent roughly $40,000 using stolen credit card information.

Officers are still investigating to see if there could be others affected by the scam.

Police are asking that anyone with information call them or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Article by By Nicole Dawe, CBC News