Toronto

Toronto 'cool guy' wanted in rental fraud investigation

Police in Toronto want the public's help tracking down a man wanted in a series of alleged rental frauds first reported by CBC Toronto.

Mike Lemke, 33, alleged to have scammed multiple landlords and would-be roommates

Mike Lemke, 33, has been accused of not paying rent at three condos in Toronto's Liberty Village, while also advertising rooms for rent and then ripping off his would-be roommates. (Facebook)

Police in Toronto want the public's help tracking down a man wanted in a series of alleged rental frauds first reported by CBC Toronto.

Mike Lemke, 33, allegedly advertised a room for rent online, took rent deposits exceeding $2,000 from prospective roommates, but then failed to rent to them and in some cases kept the money.

In a media release on Tuesday, the Toronto Police Service said it is investigating "multiple counts of fraud."

People with information about Lemke, who also goes by the name Mike Krug, are urged to contact police.

As CBC Toronto first reported, Lemke lived at several addresses in the trendy Liberty Village neighbourhood over the past two years, including a condo unit at 69 Lynn Williams St.

CBC Toronto spoke with 13 people who attempted to rent a room at the 69 Lynn Williams from Lemke. Eight said they are still owed some or all of the deposit.

Lemke has not responded to multiple attempts to reach him by phone and email.

The view from 69 Lynn Williams St., in trendy Liberty Village, where it's alleged Lemke failed to pay rent. (CBC)

On top of the alleged roommate scam, Lemke is also accused of not paying his rent and owing landlords thousands of dollars in arrears.

CBC Toronto has spoken with the landlords of four Liberty Village condos who say Lemke stopped paying rent after his first month and eventually disappeared without paying.

In one case, the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board ordered Lemke to pay $17,000 in arrears.

At one point, posters of Lemke were circulated by landlords in the neighbourhood. The police made no mention of these cases in its release.

CBC Toronto has learned Lemke is originally from Brantford, Ont.

A photo of Lemke released by Toronto police on Tuesday. (Toronto Police Service)

About the Author

Trevor Dunn

Trevor Dunn is an award-winning journalist with CBC Toronto. Since 2008 he's covered a variety of topics, ranging from local and national politics to technology on the South American countryside. Trevor is interested in uncovering news: real estate, crime, corruption, art, sports. Reach out to him. Se habla español. trevor.dunn@cbc.ca