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Oshawa police arrest couple for defrauding church members by faking kids’ illnesses

The Oshawa, Ont., husband and wife accused of using their two children to defraud members of a local church of more than $650,000 are now facing additional charges following the identification of additional victims.

In November, Durham Regional Police allege the parents convinced people the kids were suffering from serious diseases, including cancer. The suspects allegedly even dressed one child in a hospital gown, cover their head in bandages and attached a fake intravenous connection to the child’s arm to convince people of the severity of the apparent illness. Police said the suspects also convinced a school board that one child needed special equipment and services to attend class.

Two members of the church initially reported the couple to police.

The male, 61, and female, 50, have also been charged with the additional counts of: Fraud Over $5,000 x2; False Pretenses Over $5,000 x2 and Possession of Proceeds of Crime Over $5,000 x2.

The female is also facing additional charges of Fraud Under $5,000 x2; False Pretenses Under $5,000 x2; and Possession of Proceeds of Crime Under $5,000 x2. The man is also facing a assault charge.

There is currently a total of 35 charges currently before the court.

Several of these new charges relate to additional victims coming forward and the misuse of social support programs provided by the Province of Ontario. This added loss to victims is estimated to be greater than $75,000 but remains an active investigation.

Anyone with new information about this investigation is being asked to contact D/Cst. Franssen of the Major Crime Fraud Unit at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5356. Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca and tipsters may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward.