Toronto man arrested in $500,000 cargo re-direction and identify theft schemes: police

Toronto police say they’ve arrested a 32-year-old Toronto man accused of two frauds worth at least $500,000, as a result of a probe called Project Groundhog.

The investigation, led by the police force’s financial crimes unit, was launched in August.

Police allege that someone ran what’s known as a cargo re-direction scheme, in which shipments — in this case goods such as gold, jewellery and electronics — were redirected and accepted by someone pretending to be the intended recipient.

The other scheme involved allegedly obtaining high-limit credit cards using the identities of others.

Toronto police Det. Sgt. Ian Nichol said on Monday that the known losses connected with the activities exceeded half a million dollars over a three-month period.

“With these investigations, it’s quite usual to start somewhere and then find you’re dealing with more than you thought, as the investigation progresses,” Nichol said at a press conference. “So those numbers are tentative right now.”

Last Wednesday an arrest was made, and Toronto police and the RCMP raided a Yorkville condo and an address near the Finch Avenue West and Highway 400 area.

Officers allegedly seized 38 credit cards allegedly obtained by identity theft, 26 pages of identity info and bogus identity documents, including 25 forged Canadian certificates of citizenship, three forged Ontario drivers’ licences and four forged social insurance cards.

A stolen Hublot watch worth $36,000, along with cash, phones and other electronics, were also seized, police said.

Police are looking to identify those whose identities were used to make the forged documents. They have released photos of the IDs that were allegedly seized in the investigation.

They’re also looking to determine the locations of storage lockers believed to have been used to store the stolen goods, which may include some Public Storage franchises.

Investigators have released a list of the aliases accomplices allegedly used to help the accused rent out the lockers.

Nichol said that the accused is believed to have used fake names himself, including “Jason Stanley.”

Jerahmeil Selvyn Wilson has been charged with five counts of theft over $5,000, personation with intent, possession of forged documents, possession of identity information, possessing a credit card obtained by crime, possessing proceeds of crime, possession of property obtained by crime, possession of identity documents, four counts of failing to comply with a recognizance, and a conditional sentence order breach.

He is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 14.

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