Calgary

Fraud investigation nabs 3 people with international ties

Calgary police worked with agencies across Canada and the U.S. while investigating an $8 million fraud. The three people involved have international connections and police anticipate further charges after pouring over enough documents to fill three cube vans.

80-year-old lost $8 million over 15 years, but police say it's just the beginning

Joseph Edison has been arrested on charges of fraud over $5,000, theft over $5,000 and forgery, for his alleged role in a case involving and 80-year-old victim. (Calgary Police Service)

It lasted 15 years and involved $8 million, but police say it's just the tip of a very large international iceberg.

Calgary police announced charges against three people accused of defrauding an 80-year-old man, who considered those now facing fraud charges friends. 

The primary suspect, Joseph Edison, allegedly tricked the elderly victim into investing with the promise of large returns. Edison used false charities as fronts for the money, according to police. He is charged with fraud over $5,000, theft over $5,000 and forgery.

The other two accused are Stefanie Haase-Fernando and Anshul Edison Fernando, both facing charges of fraud over $5,000 and theft over $5,000.

International reach

The investigation involved the Calgary Police Service Economic Crimes Unit working with partners, including the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI, Homeland Security, the RCMP, and the Canada Revenue Agency.

"I would say it's probably one of the largest investigations that we will have seen and we will be sharing that information and intelligence across the world," said Staff Sgt. Kristie Verheul of the Economic Crimes Unit. 

"What we are uncovering is that there are multiple fraud schemes that these offenders are perpetrating."

More charges likely

As a result of the search warrant executed on May 27, police seized a "significant amount of property and evidence," including forged bank and government documents, $65,000 worth of gold, pyramid scheme accounts and safe deposit box keys.

Police hauled away three cube vans full of documents.

It is anticipated there will be more charges, more suspects and more victims.

Verheul says there is evidence linking this operation to the U.S., Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Nigeria and "many other countries across the globe," and that it is "definitely larger than just four individuals."

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