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OPP Bust Counterfeit Cheque Ring

Fri Nov 02

TORONTO, Nov. 2 /CNW/ - Officers from the Ontario Provincial Police Anti-Rackets Section arrested three persons in connection with the production and mass mailing of counterfeit cheques throughout North America.

This investigation was primarily focused on the "lab" where the fraudulent cheques were manufactured. The scheme was accomplished by preparing counterfeit cheques and their supporting documentation in regards to charities, lotteries, personal loans, etc. In most cases the accused attempted to legitimize their fraudulent schemes by using publicly available, real charity and lottery identifiers.

This was a partnership investigation involving: Vancouver Police, United States Postal Inspection Service, Canada Post Corporation, York Regional Police, Peel Regional Police, all Major Financial Institutions within Canada, and the Ontario Provincial Police, Anti-Rackets Section, Identity Crimes and Forgery Investigation Unit as the lead agency.

Financial investigators and police scrutinized numerous complaints throughout North America. Over 55,000 individual complaints, representing a face value of over 400 Million Dollars in potential loss.

Between early 2005 and November 2007 a total of 55,000 complaints were registered with Phonebusters, The Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre. Of those 55,000, 974 originated from within Ontario bearing a total actual loss of 1.3 million dollars.

Police executed five search warrants and seized several computer systems, printers, scanners, counterfeit US currency, and thousands of cheques in various stages of production.

Charged are:

Godwin Friday ANIGOZIE, age 39 of Woodbridge, Ontario, one count of fraud over five thousand dollars, utter forged document, and conspiracy to commit fraud.

Joanna FERENSOWICZ, age 22 of Woodbridge, Ontario, one count of fraud over five thousand dollars, utter forged document, and conspiracy to commit fraud.

Tamara CARTER, age 33, of Brampton, Ontario, one count of fraud over five thousand dollars, utter forged document, and conspiracy to commit fraud.

All three are scheduled to appear in Old City Hall Court, Toronto, on December 17th, 2007.

The investigation is continuing.

For further information: D/S/Sgt Andy Mayo, OPP Anti-Rackets Section, Identity Crimes and Forgery, Investigation Unit, Phone: (705) 795-0985


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