An investigation into a complex fraud scheme operating across Canada has resulted in nine fraud-related charges being laid against a suspect from Metro Vancouver, who has fled the country.
B.C. RCMP and Federal Serious and Organized Crime explained in a news release today (July 15) that in June 2019, a B.C. RCMP financial investigation team launched a national investigation into crime groups allegedly involved in an “elaborate telemarketing scheme” that was conducted across Canada.
Members of these groups were contacting Canadian citizens while pretending to be representatives from the Canada Revenue Agency, banks, police, or software companies, and these scammers instructed victims to send cash through courier companies.
Seven victims lost a cumulative total of $198,700—however, $90,000 was intercepted and returned to the victims.
Investigators determined that a 27-year old resident of Burnaby was allegedly involved in this scheme involving four associates who used both encrypted and unencrypted social messaging platforms to communicate.
B.C. RCMP stated that Haoran Xue is now charged with:
- fraud over $5,000;
- theft over $5,000;
- possession of property obtained by crime;
- party to offence;
- deal with identity document without lawful excuses;
- identity theft;
- personation with intent to gain advantage;
- several counts of uttering forged document.
Xue, however, fled Canada in August 2019, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
The civil forfeiture director filed a claim in B.C. Supreme Court in November 2019 to seek forfeiture of a Burnaby property associated with Xue “as proceeds and an instrument of unlawful activity”.
The property was foreclosed in late 2020 and the sale proceeds were deposited into court.
Meanwhile, B.C. RCMP are still working with the Canada Border Services Agency, the B.C. Civil Forfeiture Office, the Canada Revenue Agency, and other law enforcement agencies across Canada to address all Canadian victims of this scheme.
As of today, investigators have recorded a cumulative loss of over $1 million from over 70 victims in both Canada and the United States.