Calgary

Man charged in $800K luxury vehicle fraud previously helped murderer flee country

Two Calgary men — including one who helped a murderer flee the country — have been charged in an $800,000, luxury vehicle fraud following a two-year police investigation.

Sean Airey faces fraud charge while warrants issued for Mohammed Khalid Alshanti

Mohammed Khalid Alshanti is wanted on warrants for fraud. Police say Alshanti was involved in a high-end auto fraud. (Calgary Police Service)

Two Calgary men — including one who helped a murderer flee the country — have been charged in an $800,000, luxury vehicle fraud following a two-year police investigation.

Eight vehicles are believed to have been fraudulently purchased or financed in the scam, including two Porsche Cayennes, two Range Rovers and a Mercedes Benz G63 AMG.

Fraudulent loans and transactions totalled more than $800,000, and the five vehicles that were recovered were worth more than $400,000. 

Vehicles were recovered in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and the United States.

Sean Alexander Airey, 27, faces one charge of fraud over $5,000.

Airey received a two-year sentence earlier this year for his role in helping Nathan Gervais flee the country ahead of his 2016 murder trial. Gervais was returned more than a year later and convicted of first-degree murder in the swarming and beating death of Lukas Strasser-Hird.

2nd suspect wanted on warrants

Warrants have been issued for Mohammed Khalid Alshanti, 27, for fraud over $5,000 and possession of a controlled substance. Police say Alshanti speaks with a heavy accent, is five foot 10 and 200 pounds.

The men are accused of using stolen identities to buy vehicles, which were then given fake Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs). The vehicles, bought in Calgary, were then resold or refinanced. 

In some cases, the men also obtained financing loans for vehicles they did not have, according to the Calgary Police Service.

Victims of the fraud included people whose identity was stolen and who were then on the hook for vehicle loans that had been taken out in their names. Other victims include car dealerships that were unable to sell vehicles with liens placed on them, and the legitimate owners who had their vehicles repossessed by banks. 

Investigators identified 10 people in Canada and overseas who were victims of identity fraud connected to this case.