Toronto: The RCMP’s Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Financial Crime team has arrested and charged six people after thousands of investors and the Government of Canada lost millions of dollars in a ‘fraudulent investment scheme’.
The investigation began in April 2012 when the RCMP received information that people were involved in a possible ‘tax avoidance scheme’. The RCMP Financial Crime members commenced an investigation which included interviewing witnesses and suspects, the execution of search warrants and the analysis of thousands of pages of documentation.
At least six individuals enticed thousands of investors to participate in an alleged illegal tax shelter. Investors were led to believe that they could legitimately purchase a company’s business losses that could then be used to lower their taxable incomes. The accused received a percentage of the allegedly fictitious losses. In many instances, these business losses resulted in substantial illegitimate income tax refund cheques being issued to these claimants off the backs of taxpayers. On March 26, investigators from the RCMP Financial Crime team arrested six individuals. Since 2004, the risk of financial loss by the Government of Canada because of this specific fraud exceeds 200 million dollars. The companies used by the accused to run this scheme included: Integrated Business Concepts (IBC), Synergy Group 2000, Cason Global Wealth Association (CGWA) and IBCA 2009.
During the course of the investigation, the RCMP
executed search warrants at businesses located at 202-235 Yorkland Blvd in Toronto and 795 Spillsbury Drive in Peterborough. The six individuals have been charged with two (2) counts of Fraud over $5000 and Commission of an Offence for a Criminal Organization. 65 year old Ravi Chaudhary of north York is one of them. Vincent “Vince” Villanti (age 66) of hitby; Shane Davidson Smith (age 46) of Peterborough; David Prentice (age 52) of Oakville; Andrew Lloyd (age 42) of Pickering; Joe Loschiavo (age 49 ) of Etobicoke were other arrested along with Ravi. RCMP has informed that this is an ongoing investigation and further arrests and charges are possible.