Hamilton-Niagara RCMP Financial Crime Section has arrested and charged 48-year-old Naeem Akhtar from Markham, Ont. with fraud and money laundering valued at over $3 million.
The scheme involved over one hundred false identities used to obtain credit cards and other loans from Canadian financial institutions. Known as a make-up, pump-up, run-up scheme, the suspect created an elaborate network of false identities and shell companies. The fake identities used included false Ontario driver’s licenses or actual Province of Ontario driver’s licenses created using fake foreign passports, fake Social Insurance Cards or false Canadian Permanent Resident cards. This differed from traditional identity theft in that the personas created did not exist at all, which poses a threat to the Government of Canada’s systems and programs as well the integrity of Canada’s financial institutions.
Credit was created using the fake identities with falsified employment records and paystubs from the shell companies controlled by Akhtar. The credit was increased by patiently accepting credit increases over the years. The shell companies were used to launder the proceeds of the crime by creating false invoicing for the fraudulent credit cards.
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