A 27-year-old former Burnaby resident has been charged in relation to an “elaborate” telemarketing scam that bilked seven victims of a total of nearly $200,000, according to police.
The charges stem from a multijurisdictional fraud investigation launched in June 2019 by the B.C. RCMP’s federal financial integrity team.
The investigation targeted interprovincial and transnational crime groups that were reaching out to unsuspecting Canadians and pretending to be representatives of the Canada Revenue Agency, banks, police investigators or software companies, according to a recent RCMP news release.
The victims were instructed to send the scammers cash via courier companies, the release said.
The investigation led to a 27-year-old Burnaby resident who was allegedly part of a telemarketing scheme involving four associates who communicated on encrypted/unencrypted social messaging platforms, according to the release.
The fraud and related money laundering involved seven victims who collectively lost $198,700, but $90,000 of that was intercepted and returned to the victims, police said.
Haoran Xue, also known as Charlie Xue, has now been charged with fraud, theft, identity theft, possession of property obtained by crime, dealing with identity documents without lawful excuse, personation with intent to gain advantage, and multiple counts of uttering forged documents.
The approval of the charges demonstrates the “fulfilment of duty to combat this complex fraud network, which operates with a sense of impunity and in a borderless nature,” according to Supt. Brent Taylor, the officer in charge of the financial integrity section of B.C. RCMP’s serious and organized crime unit.
“Too often those who perpetrate these types of crimes remain anonymous,” Taylor said in the release.
Xue fled Canada in August 2019, according to police, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
B.C.'s director of civil forfeiture filed a claim in B.C. Supreme Court in November 2019, seeking the forfeiture of a Burnaby house associated with Xue at 7318 4th St.
The director claims the property was “the proceeds and an instrument of unlawful activity” and belonged to Xue even though his father, who lives in China, was the registered owner.
Xue’s father, Zenggang Xue, has since sold the property, and the proceeds are being held by the court, to stand in the place of the property, until the civil forfeiture claim is resolved, according to a media relations officer with the ministry of public safety and solicitor general.