Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) has laid charges in a $12-million mortgage fraud scheme in Calgary.
During a two-year investigation, authorities determined there were 22 properties involved in the scheme and eight financial institutions. They also uncovered 12 witnesses, who were recruited to obtain a mortgage.
“The (straw buyers), were asked to allow their name to be used to obtain a mortgage and were then told that the accused would take it over in their own names after six months,” said Insp. Kevin Forsen of ALERT.
“In exchange for their identities, each straw buyer allegedly received between $3,000 to $5,000. Eventually, the accused walked away from the scheme with a large amount of money, leaving the nominees holding the mortgages.”
Forsen explained the complexities of the two-year-long investigation and expects more.
“We’re aware with this message today, there may be others who come forward and we encourage that,” Forsen said.
“This investigation is extremely complicated.”
Alleged ring-leader Ali El-Sayed, 31, surrendered to police on July 29.
El-Sayed and his company, Ramses Holdings Inc., have been charged with 23 counts of fraud over $5,000. He also faces one count of extortion.