Charges laid in multi-million dollar fraud investigation
The Calgary Police Service Economic Crimes Unit has charged three people in relation to a multi-million dollar fraud investigation.
Between December 2014 and May 2015, the Economic Crimes Unit investigated a complaint of an elderly victim being defrauded of more than $8 million.
The primary suspect allegedly utilized false charities as a front to convince the victim to invest large quantities of funds. The money was promised to be guaranteed through various international means and have a high rate of return on investment. As the fraud advanced, the suspect had the victim pay large sums of money in order to have funds released from holdings.
It is believed the culprit used the following charities to support his ongoing criminal activity:
- Humanitarian Foundation of Canada
- World Job and Food Bank
- Canadian Organization for International Development Strategies Foundation
- Lepidoptera Inc.
- Antennae Inc.
- Calgary Community Outreach Services Society
The charities associated to the suspect were all determined to be fraudulent and are not registered with the Canada Revenue Agency. The money donated by this victim is believed to have been funneled through the charities to international accounts.
As a result of the initial investigation, search warrants were executed on Wednesday, May 27, 2015, at two residences and one business in the following locations:
- 4400 block of 49 Street S.W.
- 1800 block of 9 Street S.W.
- 600 block of 4 Avenue S.W. (business)
A significant amount of property and evidence was seized during the searches including:
- Forged bank and government documents
- Fraudulent documents for investment accounts
- Pyramid scheme accounts
- $65,000 worth of gold
- 10 computers
- Banking records and account ledgers
- Safe deposit box keys
As a result of finding the keys to safe deposit boxes, an additional search warrant was granted and executed early today, Thursday, May 28, 2015. The boxes were found to contain silver, jewels, coins and various types of currencies.
Following the execution of the original search warrants, two people were charged and one remains outstanding on warrants. A fourth person was arrested at the time of the search warrants, but has since been released. Her involvement with the matter is still under investigation.
Joseph EDISON, also known as Joseph Edison FERNANDO, 66, of Calgary, has been charged with fraud over $5,000, theft over $5,000 and forgery.
Stefanie HAASE-FERNANDO, 37, of Calgary, has been charged with fraud over $5,000 and theft over $5,000.
Warrants have been issued for Anshul Edison FERNANDO, 39, of Calgary, for fraud over $5,000, and theft over $5,000.
The investigation continues and further charges are likely to be laid. Investigators believe other people may have had financial dealings with Joseph EDISON, who goes by multiple aliases. As a result, a photo of EDISON can be found on The City of Calgary Newsroom.
Anyone who thinks they may have been solicited for funds related to high-yield investments is encouraged to contact the Calgary Police Service non-emergency number 403-266-1234. Anyone who may have other information about this investigation is asked to contact the non-emergency number, or Crime Stoppers anonymously using any of the following methods: TALK: 1-800-222-8477, TYPE: www.calgarycrimestoppers.org, TEXT: tttTIPS to 274637.
The Calgary Community Outreach Services Society lists the Calgary Police Service as one of its supporters. This is not a registered charity and the Calgary Police Service has not had any formal involvement with this group or representatives for a number of years. As part of the ongoing criminal investigation, any involvement between the group, its organizers, and the Service is under review.
The Calgary Police Service would like to thank the following organizations for their assistance in this investigation: the United States Secret Service, Canada Border Service Agency, Homeland Security, RCMP, Alberta Securities Commission, US Customs and Border Protection, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the CRA Enforcement Branch. The Service would also like to thank our partners in the banking industry including BMO, TD, Scotia Bank, and ATB. In addition, a number of CPS units were instrumental to a successful resolution, including the District 2 Operations Team and the Criminal Intelligence Unit.