As part of the Toronto Strategic Partnership (TSP), Toronto Police have arrested two men in connection with an alleged global fraud.
Launched last summer, Project Royal was focused on allegations of ongoing fraud committed by a group of individuals in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
The name ‘Royal' was created because of the suspects’ high-profile and lavish lifestyle.
Detective Sergeant Ian Nichol, of Financial Crimes, said information gleaned via a mass-marketing fraud investigation formed the basis of Project Royal.
“These guys lived a high lifestyle allegedly fueled by the proceeds of identity theft,” he said. “Through the partnership, the investigation was launched and we were able to make arrests and issue warrants.”
Though based in the Greater Toronto Area, Detective Constable Tim Trotter said the suspects’ alleged criminal activities extended to North America and the Far East.
“It was suggested to us that these are high-level operators,” he said. “They are like the ‘professors emerita’ of fraud who aren’t involved in day-to-day criminal activities. They were consultants to those lower than them.”
Trotter said the suspects were involved in fraud, ranging from credit card and romance scams to account takeovers and the black money scam.
Adedayo Ogundana, 45, also known as Oladipipo Ogund, of Toronto, was arrested on December 13 and charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000, 10 counts of fraud over $10,000 and possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000 and the proceeds of crime.
He is scheduled to make a court appearance on May 18 at 1000 Finch Ave. W.
On Monday, April 24, a search warrant was executed at a Yorkville condominium where $39,000 in cash, seven watches valued at $310,000, jewelry, clothing, accessories and liquor valued at $390,000 were seized.
“All of the items are believed to be proceeds of identity theft,” said Nichols.
A total of 37 fraudulently obtained credit cards, hundreds of pieces of presumably stolen mail and a series of notebooks containing the handwritten identity information of approximately 5,000 GTA residents were seized.
“That’s alleged to form the starting point of what amounts to over $10 million in offences committed through identity theft,” added Nichol.
On April 27, Adekunle Johnson Omitiran, 37, of Toronto, surrendered to police and was charged with fraud over $5,000, four counts of fraud under $5,000, two counts of identity theft, trafficking identity information, possession of credit card obtained by crime, possession of the proceeds of crime and failure to comply with probation.
He is scheduled to appear at College Park court on May 19 at 10 a.m.
Several of the items seized were on display at the news conference.
“The evidence that we found in the one residence (Yorkville) does indicate that the items were purchased primarily in and around the Yorkville area,” said Detective Constable Mike Kelly. “There were receipts found inside the residence that does cause us to believe that’s where they came from.”
Kelly said police are alleging that Omitiram gained access to the use of the Yorkville condominium through false pretence.
“He misled the owner of the condo as to his identity and the nature of his business,” Kelly said.
Duro Akintola, 44, also known as Michie Noah, of Toronto, is wanted on several charges.
Emmanuel Salako, 47, also known as Gee Salaq of Toronto, who was indicted by the United States Postal Inspection Service in Chicago under the name George Salako, is wanted in the United States.
Nichols said a disconcerting component of the investigation is the investigators belief that Omitiram maintains extensive connections with persons that have legitimate access to identity information.
“Investigators are seeking the assistance of the public in identifying such persons,” said Nichols.
Anyone with information who wishes to remain anonymous can contact the Financial Crimes Unit at (416) 808-7300; Toronto Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at 222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.
The TSP is a collaboration involving the TPS, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Competition Bureau of Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Government & Consumer Services, the Ontario Ministry of Finance, the United States Federal Trade Commission and the United States Postal Inspection Service.