Toronto

Alleged 'prolific' Toronto identity thief is wanted by Quebec police

A Toronto woman who police say is a "professional" and "prolific" identity thief is also wanted by Quebec police. Deborah Oguntoyinbo is already facing more than 50 charges in the Toronto area relating to identity thefts and frauds in four jurisdictions. 

Deborah Oguntoyinbo accused of fraud and impersonating a woman in Longueuil, Que.

Deborah Oguntoyinbo, 26, is facing charges in numerous jursidictions in Ontario and Quebec (starnow.ca)

A Toronto woman who police say is a "professional" and "prolific" identity thief is wanted by yet another Canadian police service.

Deborah Oguntoyinbo, 26, is already facing more than 50 charges relating to identity thefts and frauds in four jurisdictions in the Greater Toronto Area.

CBC News has learned she's wanted by police in Longueuil, Que., as well. Oguntoyinbo is behind bars in the Toronto area.

"There's several charges: fraud over $5,000, use of a forged document, identity theft, identity fraud, motor vehicle theft and theft under $5,000," Longueuil police Det. Sébastien Boudreau tells CBC News.

"There's actually two warrants out for her," he added.

Longueuil police had been looking for Oguntoyinbo since February, when she allegedly used a stolen identity to purchase a Mercedes-Benz, register the vehicle, then try to resell it to an unsuspecting buyer.

Earlier this month, Boudreau says, he saw a CBC News investigation that detailed how she is accused of stealing the identities of at least 20 women, creating forged identification documents and racking up big bills, including buying cars and leasing homes in their names.

Boudreau says he has reached out to police in the Toronto area in an effort to see if Oguntoyinbo can be returned to Quebec for prosecution.

Police in Ontario say they continue to investigate Oguntoyinbo in an effort to piece together the scope of her alleged crimes.

"She definitely would be considered a professional fraudster, knows what she's doing and [is] quite prolific," York Regional police Sgt. Andy Pattenden said.

She's currently facing 14 identity theft related charges in York, just north of Toronto. That's on top of 19 prior charges which resulted in jail sentences of 44 and 90 days.

Police in Toronto, Peel and Halton regions west of Toronto have filed dozens of similar charges against Oguntoyinbo. 

Oguntoyinbo is accused of stealing the identities of other women. (York Regional Police)

How the alleged Quebec frauds unfolded

Quebec police allege Oguntoyinbo drove to the Montreal suburb of Longueuil in February and bought a second-hand Mercedes-Benz GLK 250, using the identity of a 20-year-old woman from Ajax, Ont. 

CBC News has agreed not to name the car owner, but has reviewed court records filed by police and financial records he provided to authorities.

The man said he was suspicious because Oguntoyinbo appeared to be wearing a prosthetic baby bump on her stomach to make her appear pregnant. It's not clear if she actually was pregnant.

As a precaution, he texted his girlfriend the licence plate number on the SUV Oguntoyinbo arrived in. 

Two days later, he says, Oguntoyinbo returned to buy his car and handed him what appeared to be a BMO bank draft for $24,500. He says Oguntoyinbo also provided a driver's licence so she could transfer the vehicle into her name.

He says he took the bank draft to RBC, where he banks, and a teller accepted it. The funds were credited to his account.  

But three days later, he found out RBC had determined the draft was forged. That's when he called police.

Boudreau says he reached out to Ontario's Ministry of Transportation to check the name on the driver's licence Oguntoyinbo is accused of providing to the Mercedes-Benz owner.

"They informed me a colleague from Toronto police was doing an investigation into identity fraud regarding [that] stolen driver's licence," he told CBC News.

Toronto police passed on Oguntoyinbo's name as a possible suspect, he says. 

Boudreau says he then obtained a photo of Oguntoyinbo as well as other information.

He says he took the photo to the Mercedes-Benz owner and a Montreal woman Oguntoyinbo is accused of trying to resell the car to.

"They positively identified her in a photo lineup," according to Boudreau. 

However, Quebec police couldn't locate Oguntoyinbo to arrest her. She's known to have used numerous aliases, according to police.

This is the bank draft that Oguntoyinbo is accused of forging to buy a Mercedes-Benz in Longueuil, Que. (Supplied by Mercedes-Benz owner)

RBC partly to blame, car owner says

The Mercedes-Benz owner says the alleged fraud could have been prevented had RBC done a better job identifying the forged bank draft.

"That's their job, that's why we pay fees," he told CBC News.

He also says the bank never informed him the bank draft was fake, and that the $24,500 was being pulled from his account. 

"They didn't even tell me. RBC, did not reach out to me in order to inform me that they had taken the money out of my account, I reached out to them," he says, after noticing the money was gone.

RBC spokesman AJ Goodman declined to answer specific questions about what training RBC tellers receive for spotting forged documents.

 "When [the car owner] presented the draft he received for the purchase of his vehicle at our branch, we followed our established procedures and took the appropriate actions to protect him and his accounts from fraud." he said in an email to CBC News.

"This included asking him about the source of the funds; advising him to visit a BMO branch right away to have the draft validated; and ultimately placing a four-day hold on the draft to allow time for the draft to clear." 

The car owner disputes that.

"No, the employee did not ask me to go and validate the bank draft at BMO," he told CBC News.

He also says a manager at RBC later told him that the teller should never have accepted the draft.

Oguntoyinbo accused of duping Toronto teller

It's not the first time an RBC teller has allegedly accepted forged documents from Oguntoyinbo.

In June, Oguntoyinbo was charged with passing another forged driver's licence to an RBC teller in Toronto. 

She allegedly changed the woman's banking passwords, security questions and contact information, and stole money.

RBC acknowledged protocols for verifying a client's identity were not adequately followed in that situation.

About the Author

John Lancaster

Senior Reporter, CBC Toronto

John Lancaster is a senior reporter with CBC News focusing on investigative and enterprise journalism. His stories have taken him across Canada, the US and the Caribbean. His reports have appeared on CBC Toronto, The National, CBC's Marketplace, The Fifth Estate-and of course CBC online and radio. Drop him a line anytime at john.lancaster@cbc.ca.

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