Nova Scotia

Halifax woman faces 117 fraud charges

A Halifax woman has been charged with 117 fraud-related charges after a nine-month-long investigation by the Halifax Regional Police.

A Halifax woman has been charged with 117 fraud-related charges after a nine-month-long investigation by the Halifax Regional Police.

Lesa George, also known as Lesa Jurgan, was arrested on Wednesday morning in Bedford. The 117 charges consist mainly of uttering forged documents, forgery and false pretences.

Halifax Regional Police Const. Brian Palmeter said police has identified 14 victims in the investigation so far.

"What we were able to determine is that the woman has set up basically a fake background where she identifies herself as a successful businesswoman, registers these companies and gets the documents to each company to set up other bank accounts," he told CBC News.

"[She] then uses that persona to rent high-end residential properties and once she gets into the properties, she stops making payments."

Palmeter said once the person is in the high-end properties, it's difficult to get them out.

"There's a process through the Tenancy Board that needs to be followed and sometimes it can take months upon months to get somebody out. So she gets to live in a $500,000 home, for example, without having to pay any rent."

Palmeter said other victims complained about improper charges on their credit cards. He said he expects more victims will come forward and more charges against George are expected.

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