Toronto (August 18, 2020) – Toronto police arrested a man and a woman for an alleged cosmetics Ponzi scheme on August 12. Glenda Esteves (45) and Teddy Lee Esteves (44) from Toronto are accused of defrauding people from Toronto’s Filipino community out of more than $3.5 million. The million-dollar fraud investigation – dubbed Project Cosmo – discovered that the companies Mac Glamour Ltd., Infy Trading Incorporated, B + E Investments are allegedly involved in the scheme. Police believe there may be more victims and other companies involved.
Officers of the Corporate Crimes Section arrested two Toronto residents for an alleged cosmetics Ponzi scheme in a million-dollar fraud investigation, according to a Toronto police press release from August 14. The police accused Glenda Esteves (45) and Teddy Lee Esteves (44) of defrauding people from Toronto’s Filipino community, who were led to believe they were investing in a cosmetic company.
Cosmetics Ponzi scheme
Toronto police started the investigation – dubbed Project Cosmo – into the alleged cosmetics Ponzi scheme one year ago. Officers examined several fraudulent Canadian business transactions. The police named the companies Mac Glamour Ltd., Infy Trading Incorporated, and B + E Investments Companies, who are allegedly involved in the fraud.
Mac Glamour allegedly recruited people to invest in the future of the company. Victims were encouraged to register second mortgages, loans, cash, and other equity. Police said that they targeted especially people from the Filipino community in North York and the Greater Toronto Area.
It is alleged that the victims were told there were a large financial pay-out and a high percentage paid on their money. However, ‘the victims were deceived and their money was never used for any investment,’ the police found out during the investigation. This way, police allege that they have defrauded over $3.5 million from unsuspected investors.
Fraud, forgery and money laundering
On August 12, the authorities executed a search warrant at an address in the Yong Street and Finch Avenue West area in Toronto. Subsequently, officers arrested Glenda Esteves and Teddy Lee Esteves. The couple from Toronto has been charged with Fraud Over $5,000, Uttering a Forged Document, and Laundering the Proceeds of Crime. Glenda Esteves was scheduled to appear in court on August 13, while Teddy Esteves is to appear on October 22.
The police said that they believe there may be more victims and other companies involved. Therefore, they asked anyone who has dealt with these companies to contact the police at firstname.lastname@example.org. They also asked anyone with information to contact the police at 416-808-7300, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).
Marina Burghard writes for Canadian Fraud News about fraud-related cases, whistleblower, jurisdiction, identity theft, consumer protection, etc. – essentially about scams and how to protect yourself against this kind of fraudulent criminal behavior. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science where her interest in criminology grew. Besides fraud, Marina’s scientific interest lies in terrorism, extremism and how to deal with it as a society.