$1M Lost to Romance Scam

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 2:15 p.m. August 3, 2017

Police are seeking the public’s help locating a man wanted in connection with a romance fraud investigation.

A close up of a man
Randolph Aquino is wanted in connection with a romance fraud investigation

A warrant has been issued for 46-year-old Randolph Aquino, accused of possession of proceeds of crime over $5,000 and laundering the proceeds of crime.

D/Sgt. Ian Nichol said the Toronto Strategic Partnership started the investigation, named Project War Hero, in January this year.

“The name derived from the ruse this guy allegedly used most times, which is he is an American general stationed overseas who has run into some difficulties and needs some money to him get out of a tight situation,” said Nichol.

Three victims have so far been identified, with estimated losses of almost $1 million.

Investigators believe female victims were contacted on dating websites that included match.com, ourtime.com and chemistry.com. They believed they were involved in a relationship with a wealthy person who was a victim of circumstance in a foreign country.

The three victims wired over $1 million to a business account using the name Tresa Group Ltd.

“There is significant information that there are tens of millions of dollars allegedly  associated to this case,” said Nichol. “That’s why we are asking any other victims to come forward and speak to us.”

Aquino’s lawyer has told police he believes his client is in the Philippines.

“We are yet to confirm that,” said Nicol.

Aquino is described as 46, clean-shaven, 5’7”, 180 lbs., with short hair. He dresses well and describes himself as a professional in the financial services industry.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7300, Crime Stoppers anonymously 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 Toronto Strategic Partnership is a collaboration of the Toronto Police Service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Competition Bureau of Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, the Ontario Ministry of Finance, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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