ONTARIO’S Sanjeev Mannan, 48, of Locust Hill; Ravinder Bedi, 54, of Brampton; and Faisal Iqbal Qureshi, 42, of Richmond Hill are among 12 people who have been arrested in a $11-million fraud investigation.
Toronto Police said that it was an impaired driving arrest led to a multi-jurisdictional investigation uncovering $11 million in alleged fraudulent lease agreements and loans.
In August 2015, a man arrested for impaired driving was found with almost $10,000 in cash and seven credit cards in his pockets, three in different names, as officers inventoried his belongings.
“It was a smart cop, doing his job properly, that saw something that didn’t look right. He asked some questions and made some inquiries and called Financial Crimes to elevate the investigation,” said Financial Crimes Inspector Peter Callaghan.
It began a two-year investigation, partnered with the RCMP Integrated Market Enforcement Team, into a group of people alleged to have been fraudulently obtaining loans from financial institutions to pay for leases of equipment for industrial use such as food packaging.
The equipment was alleged to have been undervalued or never leased at all through a series of shell companies, sometimes overseas, Toronto Police said.
A total of 12 people have been arrested and 96 charges laid in the project, named after the card game because officers believed the accused were playing a game of chance with their crimes.
Callaghan said the fraud has far-reaching implications for many people as the losses incurred affect investors from individuals to pension funds as well as small businesses who endure more scrutiny because of these crimes.
He said financial institutions were unaware, had written off, planned to pursue civil action or had been investigating the alleged financial crimes. At some points, it is alleged that banks were shown equipment that was to be leased whose value had been greatly inflated.
“This is a long-term investigation as we follow the money. We obtain search warrants and production orders to get banking and financial records and follow the trail of the money,” Callaghan said.
He alleged the money was diverted overseas to avoid detection and has led to other investigations in those countries.
“Some of the accused are alleged to have helped facilitate the flow of money, others in the transactions themselves,” he said.
The following have been arrested and charged with 14 counts of fraud over $5,000, participate in a criminal organization:
Faisal Iqbal Qureshi, 42, of Richmond Hill; Giuseppe Gatti, 48, of Ajax; Taragh Bracken, 47, of Whitby; Darrell Shulman, 49, of Thornhill; Mary Sophie Kaloczi, 35, of Georgetown; Maurizio Adiletta, 53, of Brampton.
The following have been arrested and charged with fraud over $5,000 and possession of proceeds of crime:
Pino “Frank” Guido, 53, of Kleinburg; and Cosimo Commisso, 72, of Vaughan.
The following have been arrested and charged with fraud over $5,000:
Eric Thomas, 57, of Mississauga; Sanjeev Mannan, 48, of Locust Hill; Laura Tolosa, 37, of Toronto; and Ravinder Bedi, 54, of Brampton.