York police lay 42 charges in $30 million fraud investigation

Nine people are facing charges after the Police and the Ontario Securities Commission received several complaints from victims alleging they had been defrauded.

Nine people facing charges including fraud and money laundering

Nine people are now facing charges in connection to the investigation. (Greg Ross/CBC)

York Regional Police have laid 42 charges in connection to a criminal organization responsible for defrauding businesses, banks and private investors of more than $30 million dollars.

Nine people are facing charges after the Police and the Ontario Securities Commission received several complaints from victims alleging they had been defrauded.

Police say that in early 2014, a company called BLVD Holdings, one of 80 shell companies registered by AC Simmonds Group, began the process of acquiring a food shipping company in the York Region.

The food shipping company was purchased for $10 million from the original owner, who had founded it and operated it for the past 45 years.

Once AC Simmonds Group took control of the business, police say it replaced the current system for maintaining the financial records to misrepresent the financial status of the company.

One of the accused then allegedly submitted fraudulent documentation from another shell company he owned to increase the value of the company and secure additional money from lenders, creditors and investors.

Between April and August 2014, police allege large sums of money were funnelled out of the food company to the group of co-accused. Police believe the total fraud value is more than $30 million.

Among the charges faced by the nine co-accused are fraud over $5000, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, and laundering proceeds of crime.

Police are asking anyone with information, or anyone who has had business agreements with BLVD Holdings or AC Simmonds Group to contact Detective Ken Bardai with the York Regional Police Major Fraud Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6671 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.