Windsor con artist ordered to pay back victims of vacation property fraud

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A 26-year-old Windsor con artist who made a living ripping people off through online cottage rentals has pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud over $5,000.

Matthew Jonsson would collect photos of properties in the Muskokas, Whistler, BC and Canmore, Alta. and advertise them as available rentals online. Using ever-changing pseudonyms, Jonsson operated this scheme for nearly two years.

The father of three was placed on probation for three years. The Ontario court judge also ordered him to make restitution of more than $51,000 to the 58 people and families he defrauded.

Jonsson would communicate with his victims through text message or email and the victim would pay for the booking through an email money transfer. The victims would only discover the fraud after arriving at the already-occupied property or, in some cases, the property wouldn’t exist at all.

In exchange for his guilty plea, charges were dropped against Jonsson’s girlfriend, 22-year-old Tamiwa Kanyenda. The couple has three children, aged 4, 2 and six months.

Read more at Windsor Star

This article is summarized by Canadian Fraud News Inc.