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What we know about ‘stand-ins’ used by organized crime to sell homes without owner’s knowledge

What we know about ‘stand-ins’ used by organized crime to sell homes without owner’s knowledge

The identical fraudulent driver’s licence was used to lease two Toronto properties that organized crime tried to promote with out the home-owner’s information, in line with a personal investigator engaged on the circumstances. 

One of many frauds was thwarted by the household of the home-owner who found out what was taking place earlier than the east finish Toronto dwelling may very well be bought. However the different — involving an Etobicoke property — was profitable, and the case made headlines earlier this month when Toronto police issued a press launch to assist determine suspects.

A CBC Toronto investigation beforehand revealed organized crime teams within the Larger Toronto Space are paying “stand-ins” to pose as tenants to achieve entry to properties, after which paying others to impersonate owners to mortgage or promote the homes. 

Now an image is rising of a kind of alleged stand-ins whose picture appeared on the fraudulent driver’s licence utilized in two of the real-estate schemes. 

Alleged ‘stand-in’ going through unrelated fraud prices

Courtroom searches present the 54-year-old man was out on bail for unrelated fraud prices when he allegedly posed as a renter to achieve entry to the 2 Toronto properties concerned in title switch fraud. The person is presently going through a complete of 14 prices in Toronto and Newmarket, Ont., together with a number of counts of identification theft and possession of cast paperwork. 

CBC Toronto shouldn’t be naming the alleged stand-in as a result of he couldn’t be reached for remark and he hasn’t been charged by police in connection to the true property frauds. 

Brian King, president and CEO of King Worldwide Advisory Group, says the identical fraudulent driver’s licence was used to lease two Toronto properties that organized crime tried to promote with out the home-owner’s information. (Farrah Merali/CBC)

Stand-ins aren’t the masterminds behind these frauds, however they’ll make between $10,000 and $15,000 for a couple of hours of labor, in line with Brian King, president and CEO of King Worldwide Advisory Group.

“It’s straightforward cash,” mentioned King. “They’re normally low-level criminals that the folks behind the organized crime teams can belief.” 

King’s non-public investigation agency is presently wanting into 30 of those actual property frauds within the GTA. The vast majority of these circumstances are mortgage frauds, however 4 are title switch frauds the place the possession of a house was stolen utilizing identification theft and stand-ins to money in on the sale of the property. 

Within the case of the Etobicoke property bought with out the homeowners’ information, King says the pair of suspects Toronto police requested for the general public’s assist figuring out had been stand-ins who allegedly impersonated the owners within the sale. 

The Toronto Police Service is seeking the public's help identifying a man and woman wanted in connection with a complex mortgage fraud investigation.
Earlier this month, the Toronto Police Service put out a press launch looking for the general public’s assist figuring out this man and lady. CBC Toronto has discovered they allegedly posed because the sellers of an Etobicoke dwelling focused for title switch fraud. (Toronto Police Service handout)

“They’re virtually like paid actors,” he mentioned. “They must know the appropriate solutions to offer to the attorneys.”

Title insurer John Rider argues the true property business and regulation enforcement have to work collectively and share info to “weed out these fraudsters.”

“We see these IDs and they’re very usually the identical folks, however they’ve completely different names on their ID,” mentioned Rider, senior vice chairman of Chicago Title Insurance coverage Firm in Canada.

Title used on ID was a sufferer of fraud

Whereas the picture on the ID utilized by the renter in two of those title switch frauds belongs to an alleged stand-in, CBC Toronto has discovered the identify on the motive force’s licence is that of one other fraud sufferer. 

The GTA man was the sufferer of a virtually $700,000 mortgage fraud again in 2020. Within the years since, scammers have continued to make use of the person’s identify on pretend identification. By means of his household, the person declined to remark.

King says for each few of those actual property frauds which can be profitable, there are additionally these which get caught by attorneys earlier than the transaction is accomplished. Nonetheless, sufficient get via that it’s value it for organized crime to maintain attempting.

“In the event that they fail on one property, they only transfer to the following,” mentioned King.


CBC Toronto’s investigation into title fraud is ongoing. When you have any details about this story or wish to share info on one other fraud, ship an electronic mail to [email protected]