RCMP arrests 3 persons in a 2 million dollar fraud case

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Image Credits: MIGnews

July 12, Montreal –This morning, the RCMP arrested three persons for allegedly defrauding a number of financial institutions of close to $2 million through an abuse of credit and fraudulent bankruptcy scheme. These arrests are the result of an investigation into a criminal organization operating in the Montréal, Ottawa and Toronto areas. This is the second police operation conducted this week by the RCMP in relation to fraudulent bankruptcies.

It is alleged, among other things, that the three fraudsters recruited individuals who were either in financial need, unemployed or newly arrived in Canada, offering them attractive opportunities for the purpose of using their identities to fraudulently obtain credit cards, lines of credit, mortgage and personal loans.

The new credit card holders were able to take maximum cash advances and to purchase as many moveable assets as possible without reimbursing the debts they had incurred. The persons recruited by the three fraudsters could also be used to purchase bank drafts on behalf of a third party. Credit was misused for various purposes, including the purchase of luxury vehicles and goods for resale, and to obtain cash advances. The individuals never paid back their debts and ultimately filed for bankruptcy. The vehicles purchased through this scheme were reported stolen and shipped overseas via containers.

The accused in this case are facing 10 charges of fraud under section 380 of the Criminal Code. They are:

  • Nemr EL HABR, 35, of Montréal
  • Robert HABR, 37, of Laval
  • Mariam MANOUKIAN, 28, of Laval

All three alleged fraudsters arrested today will appear in court on October 2, 2012. The investigation continues and could lead to more arrests.

The investigation was led by the Integrated Bankruptcy Team (IBT), a unit made up of investigators of the RCMP and the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy.

People should be aware that piling up debt while knowing that it will be impossible for them to repay can constitute a criminal offence. For consumers who are unable to repay their debts, bankruptcy is a solution ruled by law, but it can constitute a dishonest act when a bankrupt conceals or fraudulently disposes of property before or after initiating the bankruptcy, or fails to comply with the duties and obligations of a bankrupt.

Those who are found guilty of such an offence may have to face serious consequences, including: the status of bankrupt in public records, a fine and imprisonment sentence, and a criminal record. Over the past year, the IBT has laid 261 charges of fraud against 23 persons who have been found guilty and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment and probation ranging from 12 to 24 months.

(News source: RCMP)