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Friday December 11th, 2015

Posted at 12:12pm

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The RCMP London Financial Crime Unit and the London Police Service have charged five individuals with various fraud charges stemming from a 15 month investigation into a scheme that defrauded 45 citizens from across Canada with a total loss exceeding $53,900.

The investigation began in August 2014 when one of the financial victims residing in London reported the crime to the LPS Fraud Section. Further investigation by the LPS and RCMP revealed that members of this group posted advertisements for cottage rentals in popular vacation areas via online classified websites.

The accused parties communicated with the victims through email and text message. The victims believed they had reached an agreement to rent a suitable cottage for a period of time with one of the accused who had used a false name during these negotiations. The victims sent payments to one of the accused parties through email money transfer. The accused did not own or have any right to offer any of the advertised cottages for rent. Often the victims would only discover the fraud when they arrived at the vacation site with carloads of friends or family. This resulted in significant inconvenience and large additional costs as the victims had to arrange alternate vacation accommodations at the last minute.

25-year-old Matthew Jonsson, 21-year-old Tamiwa Kanyenda, 24-year-old Aaron Dallaway, 26-year-old Steven Caruana all of Windsor, and 26-year-old Derrack Brear of Essex County have been charged with fraud over $5,000, laundering the proceeds of crime, and possession of the proceeds of crime.

All are scheduled to appear in court on January 26th, 2016.

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