Markham (November 18, 2020) – The OPP charged nine people with multiple fraud related offenses in connection with a private career college scheme. The nine individuals were employees and a former student of the Royal Institute of Science Management (RISM) in Markham. The provincial police alleged that they provided fraudulent documentation to the ministry after students received a diploma for course completion without having attended a class. Furthermore, the RISM allegedly recruited students to apply to the Ontario Government Second Career Funding Program, which the students then paid as tuition to the private career college.
The OPP Anti-Rackets Branch laid charges against nine individuals in a private career college scheme, according to a press release issued by the provincial police. The former employees of the Royal Institute of Science Management (RISM) in Markham are facing multiple fraud related charges.
The private career college scheme
In 2017, the OPP launched an investigation into the practices of the RISM and its staff. After a lengthy investigation into allegations of fraud, the officers revealed that the owners and employees of the private career college recruited students to apply to the Ontario Government Second Career Funding Program.
The program is offered by the Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development and is designed for unemployed workers to obtain new skills, in certain fields, and the financial support for reintegration into the workforce. Eligible applicants may receive funding of up to $28,000 to pay for tuition, books, instructional costs, and the cost of living expenses.
The OPP accused the RISM of defrauding the Second Career Funding Program by making their students pay the money they received from the funding program to RISM in the form of tuition. Furthermore, the police alleged that RISM students subsequently received a diploma of course completion, without having attended classes or receiving any training.
Additionally, police said that the RISM allegedly provided fraudulent documentation to the Ministry and regulatory bodies.
Nine people charged with fraud
The RISM had its registration from the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities already revoked in July 2015. The ministry said in a Notice of Revocation of Registration that it ‘is no longer satisfied that the School will be operated in accordance with the law and with integrity and honesty.’ The ministry argued that the RISM was offering unapproved programs, made unapproved substantial changes to its vocational programs and that they had not maintained student records with the information and for the period of time required.
The OPP Anti-Rackets Branch with assistance from Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), Ministry of College and Universities, and the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario charged eight RISM employees and one former student with multiple offenses including Fraud Over $5,000:
- Michael Oostroff, 73, from Etobicoke
- Wei (Raymond) Xu, 58, from Richmond Hill
- Ming-ya (Kathy) Kennedy, 56, from Cobourg
- Deguang (Derek) Chen, 56, from Toronto
- Ye (Parker) Liu, 54, from Markham
- Octavian Calin Lucaciu, 54, from Oakville
- Xue (Sherry) Hang, 51, from Richmond Hill
- Jue (Judy) Li, 37, from Richmond Hill
- Jing (Mary) Bian, 34, from Thornhill
The accused are scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket on January 14, 2021. The police asked anyone with information to contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).