$11M COVID-19 Fraud Probe says Toronto Man Took Money to India

A Toronto bureaucrat was fired following a fraud probe concerning $11M in COVID-19 funds. The probe’s court documents state that Sanjay Madan took tens of thousands of dollars to India. According to court documents, Madan worked as a computer specialist in Toronto for the Ontario government prior to allegedly flying to India together with tens of thousands of dollars in cash after he was confronted about the missing money.

Chain of Events

In November 2020, Sanjay Madan was terminated from his job at the Ministry of Education in Toronto which nets him $176,608 a year. His lawyer Christopher Du Vernet says that he withdrew $80,000 from his CIBC account in August and then flew to India in September. He holds both Canadian and Indian citizenship as well as permanent residency status in Panama. Panama has no extradition treaty with Canada and is a known tax haven. This is not all. Government lawyers allege that Madan also gave huge amounts of cash to relatives from India who visited him in September. Those relatives are alleged to have also taken money with them. The province alleged in their factum that the timings of the enormous cash withdrawals and the cash runs to India point to the possibility that Madan was shipping money offshore to avoid seizure and detection.

During a cross-examination carried out by government lawyers for the civil action to get back the alleged missing funds from the Support for Families program, Madan admitted that he personally transported between $21,000 to $30,000 Canadian to India and left the cash with relatives. The Support for Families program was the province’s response to the COVID-19 crisis which gives parents $200 for each child below the age of 12 and $250 for child and youth up to 21 years of age that are special needs. The fund is to help offset pandemic-related education expenses.

While Madan was under suspension at the start of the investigation, he insisted that his wife and family were not involved. He was the information technology leader for the Support for Families program which is worth $378 million. After he was fired, his wife Shalini Madan was also fired from her job as manager of E-Ministries Support at the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services in Toronto in which she used to make $132,513 a year. Their sons Ujjawal Madan and Chinmaya Madan both used to work for lower-level government IT jobs but both left voluntarily during summer 2020.

Huge Fraud Case is Still Ongoing

Documents filed with the Ontario Superior Court by the government alleges that some or all of the members of the Madan family as well as associate Vidhan Singh executed a fraud funneling $11 million to hundreds of TD and Bank of Montreal Accounts. These allegations are not yet proven in court.  Calls and emails made to the accused for comments in relation to the fraud remain unreturned. No criminal charges have been laid yet although 7 detectives from the Ontario Provincial Police anti-rackets squad are investigating what happened. The family has their passports and are allowed to travel.

There is an injunction to freeze the family’s assets including the more than $1M profits for selling a house in September, their 6 condominiums in Toronto, and a 7-bedroom 7-bathroom house in New York. The family attest that their sons are making their own money working from home and are attending post-graduate studies.

Suspected fraud whether it be at home or in the workplace, should be reported for proper investigations to take place. If you’re suspicious about some fraud that you think may be going on, do not hesitate to contact the authorities. For personal issues, you can avail of our private investigation services for help. Contact us now!

Canadian Job Seekers Defrauded in Elaborate Online Scam

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic caused a huge increase in the cases of fraud, especially online-based fraud and scams. 25-year-old Ashley from Canada found out about this the hard way when she used career sites online to look for jobs in sales, marketing, and coordination after losing her position as a French program coordinator due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What looked like a remote job with Vancouver tech company Gux-IT turned out to be something she wasn’t prepared for.

Brewing Suspicions

Wary of online scams despite being thrilled with the prospect of a good work from home job, Ashley checked Gux-IT’s website to find out if the vacancy was legitimate, making sure to thoroughly read through the various pages of the website. She recalls that she spoke on the phone with someone who was using a B.C. area code and who emailed her from what looks like Gux-IT’s email addresses. Ashley thought that she did everything to make sure that the job is legitimate, however, everything about it was fake. The Gux-IT website that she checked was fake and was copied by fraudsters from a foreign incorporated company that is not connected to them in any way.

Watch Out for Job Scams

What happened to Ashley can happen to anyone. Job scams are increasingly becoming common according to Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre senior RCMP intelligence analyst Jeff Thomson. Proof of this is that we are only a little over half the year and the reported cases for 2020 is already more than 2,300; close to the total cases of about 2,400 reported for the whole year of 2019. Fraudsters are taking advantage knowing that many people lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

What is the Purpose for These Fake Jobs?

Fraudsters are creating fraudulent websites pretending to be fake Canadian companies to attract job seekers that they can use to transfer money into cryptocurrency. In Ashley’s case, the fraudsters hired her and got her details. During her first day, they tasked her to help the IT department by advising them and buying a software on their behalf. She was told to buy domains and to use a cryptocurrency called Ethereum. They transferred money to her account and told her to withdraw their e-transfer and then deposit the amount to a cryptocurrency wallet. Luckily, she was able to save screenshots of her Telegram conversation with the fraudsters and contacted her Scotiabank branch to alert her if there is anything suspicious. After the transfer arrived, she withdrew it and deposited to the cryptocurrency wallet. Later that day, she found out that the company’s address is fake and that everything was just an elaborate cash-out scam designed to launder money and throw law enforcement off their tracks. If she didn’t have records that this was her first day on the fake job, the law could view her as an accomplice for fraud and she could be held responsible for the crimes perpetrated by the scammers.

Avoid Online Job Scams

The first rule of thumb is that if something is too good to good to be true, it is best to take extra precaution and make sure that your bases are covered. If a company you did not apply to seeks you out, perform due diligence and see if they are who they say they are both online and offline. Keep a record of everything as well. If you need help performing a background check or think that there is something suspicious about a job you’ve been newly hired for, we can help you at Haywood Hunt. Our private investigators can get you the answers you need for your piece of mind. Contact us today.

Haywood Hunt and Associates Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of Jeff Filliter to our Corporate Investigations Team.

Haywood Hunt and Associates Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of Mr. Jeff Filliter to our Corporate Investigations Team. Jeff is a seasoned investigator, with over 45 years of experience with the R.C.M.P., Scotiabank, and in private practice. Jeff holds an honors degree in Administrative Studies (BA), with distinction, has been a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) since 1995, and holds a Private Investigator license for the Province of Ontario. He spent 23 years with the R.C.M.P., primarily in Commercial Crime units in Ontario, as well, Jeff was in charge of the International Investigative Desk at one of Canada’s Major Financial Institutions.

Mr. Filliter has an extensive investigative and law enforcement background, specializing in domestic and international fraud, risk assessment and mitigation, due diligence, and asset tracing and recovery.  He is accomplished in areas of mortgage, lending and credit fraud, bankruptcy and insolvency, corporate and commercial fraud, relationship management and dealing with high-ranking legal and government officials and law enforcement executives on a global scale.

Jeff is an expert in asset tracing and recovery, financial and white-collar crime, fraud, money laundering, terrorist financing, proceeds of crime, forensic investigations, risk management, and security.  He has provided expert testimony in both civil and criminal proceedings globally, and has been declared a professional witness in the U.K. in relation to wire transfer fraud.

Haywood Hunt & Associates Corporate Investigation Divisions services include fraud investigations, workplace investigations, mergers and acquisitions, H.R. services, consulting services, OSINT (Open Source Intelligence), skip tracing / locates, global risk management, employee theft, background checks and more.

The Corporate Investigations Division (CID) has experienced professionals in fraud detection, investigation, and sustainable prevention. Our multi-disciplinary team includes the former head of the RCMP Commercial Crime Section, the former Head of the RCMP Stock Market Fraud Section as well as the former Senior Investigator in charge of the International Investigative Desk at one of Canada’s Major Financial Institutions. Being Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE) and Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) with several decades of experience conducting investigations in the public and private sectors across the globe allows us to help organizations Locally, Nationally and Globally without compromise.

Haywood | Hunt & Associates Inc. is a proudly Canadian globally recognized full service Private Investigation Agency with offices in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Richmond Hill, Oakville, Vaughan and Barrie. We provide professional and expert investigation services to the Insurance, Corporate, Legal, and Government Communities. As well, we provide Private Citizens with the necessary investigative support needed when faced with integrity breaches that may exist within their day-to-day lives.

We are members of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), The International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI), The International Association of Property and Evidence (IAPE), Council of Professional Investigators of Ontario (CPIO), The International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) and The Canadian Association of Independent Business (CFIB). We are also active members of the Toronto Board of Trade, the Mississauga Board of Trade, the Brampton Board of Trade, the Barrie Chamber of Commerce and the Vaughan Chamber of Commerce.

For more information on Haywood Hunt’s Corporate Investigations Division, please call 1-877-646-7878 or visit our website at https://www.haywoodhunt.ca/.

Toronto Immigration Firm Charges $170K for Fake Jobs in Canada

Toronto is one of the best places to live not only in Canada but in the world. A lot of people want to move to Toronto and a huge number are from overseas. Unfortunately, some crooks are taking advantage of this and charging would-be Chinese immigrants exorbitant amounts for immigration opportunities.

Immigration Scam?

A Toronto immigration firm was found out to be charging as much as $170,000 to cover a would-be immigrant’s paper trail, wages, and employer’s fee as unveiled by an undercover CBC journalist. The journalist posed as a Chinese National who wants to seek permanent residence in Canada. Those who want to be an immigrant with the help of WonHoTa Consulting Inc. have to pay the $170,000 fee directly to the personal account of WonHonTa’s sole director (done to get out of paying taxes). More details about how everything worked with WonHonta was shared via WeChat by Jiacheng Song, manager of Nanjing Youtai Investment Consulting Co. Ltd, an affiliate of the immigration firm. Song wrote that they have employers who work with them in exchange for money. The employer gets paid for sponsoring clients for immigration and in turn, makes easy money while getting free labour for half a year.

Fake Jobs for Permanent Residency

Simply put, WonHonTa Consulting offers fake jobs to aspiring immigrants as shared by Vancouver immigration lawyer and policy analyst Richard Kurland. This practice is illegal and hurts the integrity of the Canadian immigration program plus also affects legitimate immigrants who follow the rules.

The truth is, real jobs are not easy to find and very few are really good opportunities. Nanjing Youtai finds Chinese nationals who want to immigrate to Canada and refers them to Toronto-based WonHonTa. For the undercover journalist, Song recommended that he consider Atlantic Canada or Saskatchewan because it is a lot easier to get to them with lower requirements and shorter waiting times. Song further shared that in the past year, he was able to get about 10 Chinese nationals to Saskatchewan and about 12 to Atlantic Canada.

WonHonTa promotes employment to a range of skilled jobs via WeChat. They mention daycare workers, sewing machine operators, welders, and more. They also claim to have a national network of headhunters who recruit willing employers and states that some of them are even government immigration officials. They claim to help a lot of people find success and so that justifies their increasing fees. They also say that without a certain fee, employers won’t want to be a part of their operations. Note that foreign workers need to prove that they are employed in a skilled profession in Canada so that they can qualify for permanent residency.

Tracking the Fraud

The people behind WonHonTai and Nanjing Youtai repeatedly told the undercover journalist that it is unlikely that their scheme will ever be uncovered. They also said that if the immigrant will choose to work in the Canadian company that sponsored them for real, they will get back some of what they paid in the form of wages. The concerning detail is that they claimed that they will also provide the necessary documentation should the immigrant choose not to work, just to make things look good on paper and make it seem like the immigrant is employed. There are more details but it took someone going undercover to flush out the truth.

Perpetrators of fraud are getting smarter. It is best to be on the lookout and be wary of offers that seem to good too be true or too easy. If in doubt about a possible fraudulent work opportunity in Toronto, it is best to stay informed and maybe consult private investigators in Toronto for help. Contact Haywood Hunt & Associates today!

 

 

 

Sentence for $41M Revenue Canada Fraud Increased to 3 Years

Kevin Plange, a Toronto man who has been found to have almost defrauded $40 million from Revenue Canada was given an increase of prison sentence. Ontario Court of Appeal said that the 18 months ruling which was initially given to Plange was too short a time for the crime he committed and so the sentence was upped to 3 years.

Appeal Court Steps In

According to the Appeal Court, the sentence initially imposed was not fit when compared to other large-scale frauds and that the sentencing judge understated the respondent’s moral blameworthiness. With this said, the court also decided that the initial time served is enough and Plange does not have to go back to jail. The court also said that his rehabilitation showed that there is no need for serving more time in jail.

On a separate note, the Appeal Court upheld the validity of serving a mandatory sentence of 2 years of jail time for fraud over $1 million. They also added that the trial judge engaged in unacceptable hypothetical exercise by determining that provision as unconstitutional.

Case Details

Plange is a University of Toronto arts graduate who has been earning well. He developed a gambling problem which resulted in huge debts. By his admission, he engaged in a year-long scam starting August 2013 in which he made 28 fake direct-deposit information forms to CRA.

Because of the above, CRA deposited millions of dollars in tax refunds and rebates owed to 12 huge corporations into bank accounts controlled by Plange. When things were discovered, CRA has already paid Plange almost $42 million. It was only due to bank diligence that Plange was only able to withdraw $15,000. Considering everything, the defrauded amount is still more than $1,000,000.

Superior Court Justice Shaun Nakatsuru considered the mandatory minimum of 2 years imprisonment as cruel and unusual although he acknowledged that it was not out of line for what Plange did. Instead of the mandatory sentence for fraud over $1,000,000, he sentenced Plange to 18 months and reduced to 13 months for pre-sentence bail conditions and time served. The Crown appealed for both and the Appeal Court agreed on both appeals. The Appeal Court stated that Nakatsuru engaged in wrong speculation and used hypothetical situations where the mandatory minimum could be seen as excessive. They also said that any future attempt to overturn the mandatory minimum will undergo an evaluation based on the facts presented and the time.

Unjust Sentencing?

Regarding the sentence given to Plange. The Appeal Court found out that the judge believed Plange’s excuses that the fraud committed was spontaneous, simple, and was a one-time act. The Appeal Court also said that this claim is incomplete and made to understate the effort made by Plange to commit fraud.

Fraud is everywhere and people will do anything to excuse the fraud they’ve committed. If you want to know the truth, you will have to dig deep with the help of professionals. If you need private investigation services such as consulting, surveillance, background checks, or more, contact us to talk to our private investigators.

Man Lost $600K to Evil Spirit Blessing Scam

A woman from Toronto was charged by York Region police after allegedly using witchcraft to scam $600K from an elderly man. The woman was charged with fraud for pretending to practice witchcraft in order to pull off an “evil spirit blessing scam”.

Self-Proclaimed Psychic or Fraud?

The 27-year-old suspect, a self-proclaimed psychic, was arrested after a year of investigations regarding her interactions with a 67-year-old man from York Region who claimed that he lost about $600,000 to her scheme. Authorities began the investigation after they received an anonymous tip talking about an incident of elder financial abuse in November 2017. They found out that the man had to sell his house upon the accused’s alleged prompting so that he can get rid of evil spirits in his home. The woman then told the man that she will hold on to the money until after the spirits were removed but no money was returned to the man. Instead, the woman allegedly asked for an additional $6,000 for a ritualistic burning for which the man used credit and sold his car for just to meet the woman’s demands for money.

Evil Spirit Blessing Scam is a Possible Trend

York Regional Police shared via Const. Laura Nicolle that this incident is not the first of its kind recorded in the area. Const. Nicolle shared that they’ve uncovered similar incidents in Markham in 2015. The modus is the same. The fraudsters convince homeowners that there are evil spirits surrounding them and placing them and their family at risk. The victims are made to feel that they are in dire circumstances and must act fast with the help of the scammers or face a possible threat. The fear that the scammers cultivate in their victims explains why victims willingly part with huge sums of money in the hopes that they and their family will be safe.

The police also shared that the fraudsters typically target the elderly or people who are new to Canada, such as in the case of the Milton woman who was arrested recently by Halton Police for extortion, fraud, and pretending to be a witch. The Milton woman allegedly scammed her victim out of $60,000.

How to Avoid Falling Victim to Evil Spirit Blessing Scam

The scammers involved in this scam often claim to be practitioners of magic or witchcraft and find their victims by approaching in person or posting ads online. One concern shared by the police is that it is not easy to identify who will be targeted next because this scam involves someone’s personal concerns regarding beliefs in evil spirits, something which people don’t usually talk to the police about.

Const. Nicolle says that if you know someone who’ve fallen victim to this scam, the only way to retrieve stolen assets is to file a case or to use the court system. The best way to avoid becoming a victim is to avoid talking to people you don’t know online and in person, especially if they claim to be practitioners of magic or witchcraft and try to look at things from another perspective.

If you know someone who might be a victim of the evil spirit blessing scam or suspect that you are being targeted by a fraudster and wanted to be sure, feel free to contact us for our private investigation services. We can gather information to help you file a report or a case of fraud to the police. Contact us at Haywood Hunt today!

Police Probe In Danger Because the Toronto Fire Inspection Documentation is That Bad

The police can’t launch their fraud investigation for going after fake fire inspectors because the records kept at the Facilities Management division of the City of Toronto are in such bad shape that they’re nearly non-existent.

The police are trying to investigate allegations of phony double bidding for contracts, bad work, history of poor performance, overcharging for work (including work that was never rendered), and double billing. The records are kept in the same building where safety contracts are won by phony fire inspectors regularly.

Worrying Issues Surfaced

Beverly Romeo-Beehler, city auditor general, drew attention to a possible mismanagement of the city and wrongdoing by a vendor by telling the audit committee that the present situation poses a definite high risk for fraud which can be difficult to prove because good records are non-existent. She also asked if the police will be able to prove possible fraud if they can unearth needed records.

A few weeks ago, the National Post confirmed that the police can’t even start a probe because the documentation kept by the Facilities Management is so badly kept.

Serious Concerns

All of this started when Romeo-Beehler received some information allegedly saying that 3 companies that have been conducting business with the city for about 10 years are involved in less than desirable activities. The 3 companies are Advanced Detection Technologies Corp, Advance Fire Control, and York Fire Protection and are allegedly under the same “directing mind” of one Rauf Ahmad.

The companies are allegedly one and the same and are using multiple fake identities, changing uniforms, switching logos, doctoring papers and addresses to double bid for contracts, overcharge for work not done, and double-bill the city. The person(s) behind the companies allegedly resorted to this after their first company failed to get contracts due to a long history of shoddy work and general poor performance.

City councilor Josh Matlow said that the whole situation is so bizarre that it seems like the plot for a show but have happened in real life at the taxpayer’s expense. The sad thing is that aside from money, the people of Toronto are also being scammed of their right to be safe.

Officials Chimed In

The original complaint was passed to Facilities Management chief corporate officer Josie Scioli for initial assessment but it came back saying that there was no support for the allegations as invoices can’t be found (meaning, that no money was paid, hence there is no fraud). Upon further investigation, it turned out that the audit trail is missing and so it can’t be known if invoices were even issued at all.

The Real Danger

This is a big issue because aside from the lost payments, the buildings inspected by the allegedly fraudsters are buildings where people work, and now their safety is compromised. Investigators are still trying to get to the bottom of the situation to this day; meanwhile, the city officials are looking into hiring a third party to determine the safety of buildings involved in the fraudsters’ alleged wrongdoing.

Even the city government can be duped by scammers posing as legitimate businesses. Knowing how to spot fraud and avoid is it now of a bigger significance more than ever. Should you wish to find out more information about a shady company, we can help you at HaywoodHunt. Contact us today for our corporate investigation and personal investigation services.

 

Personal Injury Law Firm Accused of Filing Fraudulent Accident Claims

Over $1.5M of false benefits, this is what the TTC is trying to claim from a Scarborough personal injury law firm after the law firm allegedly doctored the benefit claims of streetcar and bus collision victims.

Fraud Uncovered?

TTC accused a law firm for falsifying records so that they can claim payments for housekeeping, home care, and other services that were never rendered to the accident victims. The TTC, together with their in-house insurance company stated their claim on January 24, 2017 against the law firm of Meleni David for allegedly falsifying records to claim fake expenses.

The law firm filed their defence in April 2017 with the company, David herself, and an employee as co-defendant stating that they deny engaging in unlawful scheme and added that TTC’s claims are excessive, exaggerated, and remote; therefore the court should dismiss the case.

TTC Fires Back

The TTC allegedly found evidence that fraudulent claims were connected to 13 of the firm’s clients who got into accidents between 2005 and 2014. TTC shared that they made a total of $654,553 in payments for the clients but did not share the exact amount involved in the fraud.

TTC stated in their claim that they grew suspicious in 2015 when they found fake documents in a claim handled by Meleni David’s law firm, a law firm that advertises TTC Accident as a key area of their practice.

In relation to the above, a former legal assistant at David’s firm admitted to forging signatures on invoices for home care services for an accident victim though the legal assistant stated that David wasn’t aware of what he did. The same legal assistant is also being sued by the TTC but he denied involvement in other false claims and also denied involvement in the scheme uncovered by TTC. David’s statement of defence stated that she fired the assistant as soon as she discovered the forged signatures and inappropriate handling of invoices.

Was There Fraud?

The TTC says that their discovery of the inconsistencies in the file is what lead to their in-house insurance provider’s review of the other claims handled by David’s law firm. After their review, the TTC allegedly found demonstrably forged invoices in more than half of the files they’ve audited prompting then to charge the law firm for scamming them by making claimants sign blank invoice forms for expenses such as home care, housekeeping, and other services. The invoices were then signed by fabricated suppliers and service providers and then submitted to TTC’s insurance company to claim reimbursement.

The TTC also shared that further investigation lead to them finding out that the victims did not receive the services that were allegedly rendered to them. This case is currently undergoing litigation with no set date for a trial.

Do you suspect fraud at work or fraud at your business? We can get you answers. Contact us for our private investigation services and we’ll get back to you asap regarding how we can be of best assistance to you.

Toronto Immigration Consultant Receives a 7-Year Jail Sentence for Fraud

Immigration consultant Angelina Codina was given a 7-year jail sentence when she was convicted of fraud for scamming thousands of dollars from former clients. The court also ordered her to pay back the $30,000 she got from her former clients.

Immigration Fraud

Angelina Codina targeted folks in Canada who were trying to get their relatives in the country. The clients paid Codina thousands of dollars over a period of 3 years for her assistance in helping their relatives immigrate to Canada. It was soon uncovered that she was running a fraudulent immigration scheme and was defrauding multiple clients.

Convicted for Fraud

60 year old Angelina Codina from Toronto was found guilty of 5 offences under the November 2017 Federal Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. She’s due to serve another 5 years considering the time she already served in custody. She was also ordered to pay more than $30,000 to 4 former clients that she allegedly defrauded for money. She is planning to appeal the sentence given to her.

Angelina Codina was convicted of 1 count of misrepresenting facts on an immigration application and 4 counts of advising clients on immigration matters without proper authorization. The Crown stated that Codina acted as a fraudulent immigration consultant and willfully targeted 10 vulnerable individuals between September 2011 and January 2014, making false promises to said individuals that she’ll be able to get their relatives in Canada.

The Ontario Superior Court was asked by Crown prosecutor Lynda Trefler to fine Codina $100,000 and to sentence her to 11 years in prison aside from paying her victims $30,200 each as restitution. This in view of the maximum 3 years penalty for lying on an immigration application and 2 years maximum punishment for unlawfully advising people on immigration matters. Trefler also voiced out that Codina’s behaviour has impacted both immigration and society aside from her victims.

Timely Arrest

Codina was arrested 4 years ago in May 2014 by Canada Border Services Agency. She has represented herself during the trial despite having been disbarred in 2002 and insisted on her innocence for all counts filed against her. She has records for swindling people in the past.

Codina was convicted of fraud and falsification of documents for stealing $20,000 from Ontario’s legal aid plan in 1997. The Law Society of Upper Canada disbarred her in 2002. She also has records for conviction of grand larceny in 2000 for practicing law without a license in New York, USA and providing attorney services to 11 paying clients from 1996 to 1999 through fraudulent law firm Codina Partners International in NYC. She was released for this in November 2009 although her sentence was an aggregate term of 5 to 15 years imprisonment.

Codina maintains innocence about her immigration fraud charges and says she was only acting as a conduit between her clients and immigration lawyers, even after multiple cases filed against her in small claims court.

Foreigners and immigrants are usually targeted for scams in Canada because they are perceived to be easy pickings for scammers. It pays to be updated and know how to protect yourself against scams. If something is too good to be true, you may consult with private investigators like us to get the real deal on the truth and know more tips to avoid fraud. Contact us today!

Bridle Path Mortgage Scheme Fraudsters Charged by Toronto Police

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.

Positive Development

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.

Fraudsters Charged

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.