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Frauds reported in the media – Week of October 10th

Investigation Counsel Fraud Recovery Lawyers

CEO Haines, facing fraud, announces shutdown Addiction Canada

By: CBC News
Edited by: Investigation Counsel
Date: October 11, 2016

A chain of private addiction treatment centres in Ontario and Alberta is closing under the shadow of hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid wage claims, and criminal charges against the company’s owner.  John Haines, also CEO of Addiction Canada Inc., faces five charges, including two counts of fraud worth millions of dollars, drug possession and drug trafficking.

OPP investigation revealed two employees fake being doctors

In June 2015, Munish Malik and Richard Tucker were charged after Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) received a tip that the pair were posing as doctors at Addiction Canada’s Caledon and Burk’s Falls locations. In May 2016, Haines, 51, was also charged when an OPP investigation revealed he was involved in the hiring of the men. OPP allege Haines defrauded clients of Addiction Canada of a total of $6.1 million.

Return of employees missing wages

As for current and former employees seeking missing wages, the Ministry of Labour wrote in an email that there are several ways the ministry can help after a claim is made, starting with an investigation into the company, and if wrongdoing is found, an order to pay wages. However, the government still encounters substantial difficulty getting money back.

Read the full article by Kate McGillivray at CBC News.
Read more at Canadian Fraud News Inc.

Woman from Medicine Hat used in marriage fraud by Cuban man

By: Medicine Hat News
Edited by: Investigation Counsel
Date: October 11, 2016

A woman who recently left the Gas City said she felt “used” after an immigrant man she married and helped sponsor to come to Canada left her early in the relationship and fled to the United States. Heather Neuls (35), who was living in Medicine Hat at the time, was on vacation in Cuba with a friend in February 2013, when she met Yoandy Prieto-Rodriguez in a market outside of her resort.

Sponsoring immigrants and investment in love

Prieto-Rodriguez arrived in Canada in November 2015 after they married. Neuls said she helped him get set up with a job, a phone, a driver’s licence, a bank account, etc., to help him transition to the new country. “I invested three years of my life, I invested all of my heart, and I invested over $50,000 on him and his family,” she said.

Be aware about marriage fraud

Prieto-Rodriguez is in Miami, says Neuls. She says he is living with a former girlfriend, with whom he had a daughter. Neuls says divorce proceedings with Prieto-Rodriguez are underway and nearly complete. However, according to Canadian law, she is still financially responsible for Prieto-Rodriguez for three years, even though the marriage failed. She says she wants women to be aware about marriage fraud: “don’t let yourself be used or taken advantage of, the way I did,” Neuls said.

Read the full article by Charles LeFebvre at Medicine Hat News.
Read more at Canadian Fraud News Inc.

Accounting analyst for Dana Canada accused of defrauding her employer

By: Chatham Daily News
Edited by: Investigation Counsel
Date: October 11, 2016

A Chatham woman is accused of defrauding her employer of approximately $334,000 between 2013 and 2015, Chatham-Kent Police Service said Tuesday. Stephanie Bellamy, 38, who is described as an accounting analyst for Dana Canada Corp. of Chatham, has been charged with one count of fraud over $5,000, with 101 counts of forgery; and with 101 counts of uttering a forged document.

Pair allegedly defrauded the company of “a substantial amount of money”

Also charged was Jeffery Bellamy, 45, of the same Chatham address, with one count of fraud over $5,000. Police said they were contacted by Dana Canada Corp. to report an internal theft, telling police an employee had allegedly defrauded the company of “a substantial amount of money.”

Payment to personal accounts

With the cash, police allege the woman purchased money orders and altered the carbon copy to reflect payment to valid vendors. The original copies were made payable to herself or her husband and deposited into their personal accounts, police allege.

Read the full article at Chatham Daily News.
Read more at Canadian Fraud News Inc.

Former Barrie staffer, friend plead guilty to fraud

By: Simcoe News
Edited by: Investigation Counsel
Date: October 12, 2016

A former City of Barrie manager and his friend have pleaded guilty to making a cash deal under the table. Ryan Thompson, 39, who served as Barrie’s manager of corporate facilities, pleaded guilty Sept. 27 to accepting a $127,000 kickback from his friend, Travis Wilkes, 31, of Innisfil, who owned a contracting company.

Inflated invoices for maintenance work

According to Barrie Police, the pair worked together on deals between Nov. 7, 2011 and May 31, 2015, through which Wilkes would receive contracts for renovations or maintenance work at various city facilities. Wilkes would submit inflated invoices, with Thompson approving them. In turn, Thompson was paid for showing favour to his friend.

$2 million obtained money through fraud

Police believe, over the course of four years, more than $3 million was paid to Wilkes, with $2 million of that obtained through fraud. On June 2, 2015, Thompson and Wilkes were charged with fraud over $5,000, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, possession of the proceeds of crime and secret commissions. Thompson was subsequently fired from his job. Justice Glenn Krelove will sentence the men Jan. 19.

Read the full article at Simcoe News.
Read more at Canadian Fraud News Inc.

Text message ‘car wrapping’ scam is making victims in Ontario

By: CBC News
Edited by: Investigation Counsel
Date: October 13, 2016

A scam that left a Montreal student out about $4,000 is circulating in Toronto, with would-be victims receiving text messages promising them $300 a week to wrap their cars in advertisements. Torontonian Angela Day tells CBC News that she was watching a baseball game on Tuesday when she received the text on her 647 phone number.

Easy money and convincing correspondence

screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-09-26-45Just a week ago, I (Lotte van Rosmalen) got a very similar message (see picture on the right). The text message always involves a very tempting offer to make easy money – but at the same time realistic. Earning $400 for driving around with adverts on your car seems like a reasonable deal.

People falling for these scams are often short on cash. When they reply to the message, they receive convincing, detailed replies about how the car wrapping program works. The car-wrap scammers will often hide behind legitimate company names.

Counterfeit cheque as the job is a scam

Louanne Cataford, a college student in Montreal, received the same text as Day this past August. After some correspondence, Cataford was mailed a cheque for $3,985, and was told to deposit all but $300 into the CIBC account of the graphic artist who was to wrap the ad on her car.

Cataford did as she was told. One week later, she was told by her credit union that the cheque was counterfeit, and that she was on the hook to reimburse her bank. She never heard from the person she had been corresponding with about the program again.

Read more on the ‘car wrapping’ scam at CBC News.
Read more at Canadian Fraud News Inc.

Two Torontonians face forgery charges in ‘secret shopper’ fraud probe

By: The Chronicle Herald
Edited by: Investigation Counsel
Date: October 1, 2016

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Toronto police say two Toronto residents are facing a total of 18 forgery charges arising from a nine-month investigation into what investigators are calling a “sophisticated mass-market text fraud.”

Forged cheques bearing HCM Staffing Solutions’ company logo

The investigation began in January when the RCMP was alerted by HCM Staffing Solutions that forged cheques bearing their company logo were being deposited by alleged victims in a so-called secret shopper fraud. Police say they seized equipment capable of sending out 96,000 texts per day to random Canadians from a west-end Toronto apartment.

Investigators called the apartment a one-stop shop for sending text solicitations and forging cheques that appeared to be from reputable businesses. It’s alleged those who responded to the text received a custom-forged cheque, which they were to deposit into their own bank account and then wire the money overseas to alleged confederates of the accused.

Approximately $400,000 stolen from Canadians

Police say when the bank discovered the forgery, it was the victim who had to repay the money and investigators allege each batch of 96,000 text messages had the potential to result in approximately $400,000 being stolen from Canadians.

Read more about the charges at The Chronicle Herald and City News.
Read more at Canadian Fraud News Inc.

Norman Groot

About Norman Groot

Based on my police experience and my experience thereafter as a litigator, I have joined forces with other lawyers with police experience and created the law firm Investigation Counsel Professional Corporation.

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