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A man police believe duped several prospective renters out of cash advances has been arrested, according to spokespeople. Toronto police have charged the man with three counts of fraud over $5,000 and 18 counts of fraud under $5,000 after it was discovered he may have been scamming prospective tenants. It is unclear whether he is being held by police, and no court date has been announced at this time.
Details about the alleged fraud are still incomplete as of this report, but it has been confirmed that a 39-year-old man was arrested after a lengthy investigation. The man, who is of no fixed address, is accused of meeting with prospective tenants between July and Oct. 2017 after posting apartment rental advertisements online. Police believe the man would then show tenants units he claimed were available for rent, as well as accepting cash advances to secure the units.
It turns out the units he allegedly presented were not, in fact, available for rent, but prospective tenants had already lost their deposits. It is unclear how police caught up with the accused man, but he has since been arrested. If found guilty he could face fines and even jail time.
It is not always easy to prove fraud charges, especially when they are purportedly facilitated by online advertisements. Toronto prosecutors will need to prove the advertisements were posted by the accused man with the purpose of fraudulently accepting cash advances. In order to do this, they will need solid evidence that meets a strict standard of proof. The man’s defense representation will be free to scrutinize evidence and potential testimony in advance of a court date.
Source: National Post, “Man charged with fraud in alleged scam targeting Toronto renters“, Oct. 30, 2017