December 18, 2014
**UPDATED: On February 18, 2015 the Crown entered a stay of proceedings for charges against Santino DiMarzo.
Calgary… Millions of dollars have been defrauded in a complex mortgage fraud scheme perpetuated by a Calgary-based organized crime group, according to Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT).
ALERT Calgary, an integrated team consisting of Calgary Police Service and RCMP members, uncovered the complex mortgage fraud scheme in a lengthy investigation that was initiated in October 2013. ALERT alleges that an organized crime group aided and abetted a vast cross-section of Calgary’s underworld with fraudulent mortgages, potentially costing taxpayers and banks millions.
The alleged criminal group used fictitious companies to commit mortgage fraud by falsifying documents related to employment records, bank statements, credit information, and tax assessments. There were many variations and methods of the scheme, which allowed them to substantially profit from these illegal activities.
More than 20 homes located in Calgary, Fort McMurray, and British Columbia were purchased with fraudulent mortgages. These homes ranged in price from $300,000 to well over $1 million.
Four people were arrested on December 10, including:
· Ricco King, 42, from Fort McMurray and resides in Calgary;
· Farhan Sattar, 35, from Golden, B.C. and resides in Calgary;
· Jared Jenkins, 30, from Calgary;
· Santino DiMarzo, 30, from Calgary.
A total of 29 criminal charges are being laid. A charge breakdown can be found below, but some of the offences include:
· Organized crime;
· Conspiracy to obstruct justice;
· Instructing a criminal organization;
· Money laundering;
· Administering a noxious substance;
· Sexual assault.
The group allegedly directed mortgage brokers, individuals in the banking industry, realtors, and lawyers to facilitate these mortgage frauds. Four fraudulent companies were established by the group in order to obtain mortgages:
Investigators are expecting more charges and arrests to follow. Members of the public who may have been in contact with these individuals or these companies, are asked to review their mortgage with their lending institution and to monitor their credit rating.
ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime. Nearly 400 municipal police, RCMP, and sheriffs work in ALERT.
Ricco King – 9 charges
Farhan Sattar – 9 charges
Jared Jenkins – 5 charges
Santino DiMarzo – 6 charges