GTA group collected 'millions' in alleged fraud, police say
Police say recruited 'victims' used to defraud Ontario government, businesses and banks
Three Toronto residents are facing charges in connection with an alleged organized crime ring, which police say brought people to Canada to help commit frauds against banks, businesses, individuals and the provincial government.
The RCMP’s financial crimes unit issued a press release Wednesday, alerting the public about the "elaborate scheme" that allegedly saw a group from the Greater Toronto Area recruit people from outside Canada.
The recruited individuals, whom the RCMP describes as "victims," were allegedly used to collect fraudulently obtained social assistance payments, as well as to deposit cheques that were stolen, increase credit limits and withdraw funds from accounts. In total, police estimate the frauds have seen millions of dollars lost.
On Tuesday, police executed "multiple search warrants" and arrested three Toronto residents. They are facing charges of fraud over $5,000, possession of identity information, possession of property obtained by crime and conspiracy.
The three accused were due to appear in a downtown Toronto courtroom for a bail hearing on Thursday.