TORONTO, Nov. 27, 2013 /CNW/ - The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Financial Crime Unit in conjunction with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP anti-rackets branch) and Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) have thwarted an alleged organized crime ring targeting the Ontario government and the private banking industry. Police estimate that millions have been lost through fraudulent social assistance payments, stolen cheques and bank related frauds.
This elaborate scheme involved a GTA based group who allegedly recruited individuals to come to Canada. These victims were then used to defraud the Ontario government, unsuspecting individuals, businesses and chartered banks. Individuals would collect social assistance payments through fraudulent means and would also defraud major banking institutions by depositing stolen cheques, increasing credit limits and withdrawing the funds from their accounts.
On November 26, 2013, members from the RCMP, OPP and CBSA conducted an operation in the GTA which included the execution of multiple search warrants and the arrest of three persons.
"The strong working relationship between the RCMP, CBSA and OPP has resulted in this successful investigation which will help to maintain and preserve Canada's financial integrity", said Insp. Henry Tso of the RCMP Toronto West Financial Crime Unit "The ability for each agency to work collaboratively to identify and apprehend the persons responsible for this fraudulent activity was paramount".
"I want to thank our partners, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Ontario Provincial Police. These partnerships in law enforcement are instrumental to dismantling criminal enterprises and in protecting the integrity of the Canadian economy," said Goran Vragovic, Regional Director General, Greater Toronto area Region, Canada Border Services Agency. "I also want to congratulate all the dedicated officers that contributed to this project over the last year. It's because of the commitment and professionalism of these law enforcement officers that we collectively were able to dismantle this criminal enterprise."
The following individuals have been charged with Fraud over $5,000, Possession of identity information, Possession of property obtained by crime and Conspiracy to commit the above offences:
- Jeno LAKATOS (40) of Toronto, Ontario
- Jozsef VIRAG (25) of Toronto, Ontario
- Nikoletta ARGHANDEWAL (38) (AKA Nikoletta VARGA, BOZYEL and STOKES) of Toronto, Ontario.
All three accused are currently in custody and are scheduled for a bail hearing on November 27, 2013 at Toronto Courthouse at 444 Yonge Street.
If anyone has information on this, or other crimes, please call your local police, the nearest detachment of the OPP or RCMP or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
SOURCE: Royal Canadian Mounted Police
For further information:
Sgt. Vance Morgan,
Project Team Leader, GTA Financial Crime Unit
RCMP "O" Division
Office (905) 876-9526