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Thursday October 27th, 2016

Posted at 2:23pm

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The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have charged eight people, including three from Windsor, with fraud charges stemming from a 12 month investigation into a scheme that defrauded at least 75 citizens from across Canada with a total loss exceeding $68,000.

Police say that their investigation began in October 2015 as a result of an earlier investigation into fraudulent cottage rentals in 2014. Further investigation by the RCMP revealed that members of this group posted advertisements for property rentals in popular vacation areas on 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 property 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 properties for rent.

Police say that often the victims would only discover the fraud when they arrived at the site with carloads of friends or family. This resulted in significant inconvenience and large additional costs as the victims had to arrange alternate accommodations at the last-minute.

The three from Windsor charged with fraud over $5,000 and possession of proceeds of crime are 26-year-old Matthew Jonsson, 21-year-old Tamiwa Kanyenda and 21-year-old Halle Beattie.

All are scheduled to appear in early December 2016 at the London Courthouse, 80 Dundas Street, London, Ontario.

“The RCMP is committed to protecting the economic integrity of Canada and works to identify criminal organizations who seek to deceive the people in our communities. These crimes have no boundaries, and this investigation is an excellent example of how a law enforcement agency will pursue leads from the community to disrupt the goals of a criminal organization,” said Insp. Joe Czenze, Officer in Charge of London Detachment, RCMP.

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