@TorontoPolice Financial Crimes News Conference Re: ‘Project Groundhog” | Mon Oct 29th | 10:30AM

@TorontoPolice Financial Crimes News Conference Re: ‘Project Groundhog” | Mon Oct 29th | 10:30AM

Police Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu: Good morning, and welcome to Toronto Police Headquarters today. I would like to introduce Detective Sergeant Ian Nickel of financial crimes he will update the media on the investigation into project groundhog Detective Sergeant Ian Nickel: Good morning in August 2018 members of the Toronto Police Financial Crimes Unit commenced an investigation into a cargo redirections scheme known as project groundhog It’s alleged that shipments of gold jewelry and electronics were identified through commercial shipping accounts that had been taken over The shipments were then redirected to addresses controlled by suspects Or to a warehouse for pickup by a person who was posing as the intended recipient of the product Investigators alleged that addition to the redirection of cargo and identity theft scheme was conducted by the suspect this involved applying for credit And obtaining high-limit credit cards using the identity particulars of innocent victims Credit cards will be ordered using the victims addresses and then redirected during the delivery process to address is controlled by the suspect No one losses associated to both schemes exceeds $500,000 over a three month period on October 24th, 2018 members of the Toronto Police Financial Crimes Unit assisted by RCMP integrated market enforcement team Executed criminal code search warrants Yorkville condominium and an industrial address in the Finch and 400 area the following items were seized or among the items were seized a stolen $35,000 Hublot watch? 25 Ford’s Canadian certificates of citizenship 3 Ontario driver’s licenses which were forged as well before Ford’s social insurance cards 38 credit cards obtained via identity theft 26 pages of personal identity information $2,600 in cash $1,000 in prepaid credit cards and numerous phones documents and electronics Jeremiah Sullivan Wilson 32 years of Toronto was arrested and is currently charged with personation with intent five counts of theft over $5000 possession of forged documents possession of identity information possession of credit card obtained by crime Possession of proceeds of crime because that’s property obtained by crime over $5000 Possession of identification documents four counts of failing to comply with recognizance and one count of a conditional sentence order breach He is scheduled to appear via video link at Old City Hall courtroom 111 on November 14 2018 He’s believed to have used multiple aliases including that of Jason Stanley investigators believe that Wilson utilized third parties to assist him in various aspects of his offenses. He’s alleged to have acquired multiple rental lockers storage lockers They used to store that the stolen property which is the the focus of our investigation right now trying to locate that property The lockers may include but are not limited to those owned or operated by various public storage franchises Across the the GTA there are other storage Companies being utilized as well. We believed Investigators believe it’s likely that those lockers have been rented using some of the following aliases Brian Gainesler Martin Marshall, Edward Hall, Paul Brown Vernon Neill Ian Russell Tim Lee Lock Burdell Cottam David Bell Jonathan Wiseman, Nicole Lipkin Alexis Patterson Jenny cognac Marcus Beltran Leslie Brown and that’s a male kevin waters kenneth bond Allison Smith Robert Levi Lewis Kaplan Wayne Fair. I’m getting to the end here Daniel Richard Bruce Dawson David Jackson Trent Russellend David Pereira Brian Bennett and Frederick Smith some of the forged Documents that are relate to those aliases are included and on the monitor behind me here we’re seeking the assistance of the public in identifying those especially storage locations and The actual identified identities of the people depicted on the identification photographs you had before you. Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Constable Kevin Williams of the Financial Crimes Unit at four one six eight zero eight Seven three zero six or Crimestoppers at four one Six two two two tips or four one six two two two eight four seven seven. Thank you Reporter: How many victims do you think have been affected by this? Detective Sgt Ian Nickel: Well that we that we know of we’re looking In the range of thirty-eight, but that’s that’s what we know of based on the investigation thus far we believe were at the tip of the iceberg so to speak Reporter: Could you put a dollar amount on how much money in terms of value of all of the cash and goods Inaudible Detective Sgt Ian Nickel: Well, I can tell you that the known loss is associated to the some of the credit cards only some of them because were in the preliminary stages The credit cards that were obtained fraudulently in addition to the the property which was redirected that we know of is in excess of five hundred thousand dollars over a period of three months and again with these investigations It’s it’s quite usual to start somewhere and then find you’re dealing with more than you thought as the investigation progresses So those numbers are tentative right now Reporter: Inaudible Was this how this guy made a living, did he have another job? Detective Sgt Ian Nickel: Well, we’re letting this is what he’s done if he has other jobs, I’m not aware of them. Reporter: So when did this investigation start? Detective Sgt Ian Nickel: It commenced in August of 2018 Reporter: And how did you, what was it that led you on this trail? Detective Sgt Ian Nickel: Well, I can’t get into the details of the investigation but we were we were given a little bit of information in the investigation that falled which included various judicial authorizations and and the typical place for police work They usually here have led to the identification of the suspect and ultimately culminated in the two search warrants being executed Reporter: Is it your belief that the suspect acted alone or is he Detective Sgt Ian Nickel: Well, I believe he was the the orchestrator of the offenses but I believe he was also assisted by numerous persons Both those who were posing as the recipients of cargo as well as persons who helped him set up Some of these storage locations that were referring to and we’re currently focusing on trying to locate Reporter: So how many other suspects Inaudible Detective Sgt Ian Nickel: Well, certainly all the ones the aliases associated to the the names I describe to you These photographs behind me depict different aliases and photographs associated to them Certainly, the people whose pictures are depicted here We’re looking for the names that you see on the identification I believe are the names of actual real persons the photographs I believe are the suspects that are that are abusing those names in order to further the offenses committed by Wilson. I Reporter: And how many suspects are there? Detective Sgt Ian Nickel: I Don’t recall off the top of my head you’ll have to look at the there’s certainly about five of them I believe but there may be more Reporter: How long did it take to make the arrests, I know it’s been over three months and can you give us some insight on who’s involved and tracking them down? Detective Sgt Ian Nickel: Well III can’t get into the investigation per se I mean we commenced in mid-august and it culminated on the 24th of October So that’s about all I can say about that I’d like to read of course. So the purpose of this is we’re trying we believe most of that property and probably more Is out there somewhere in some of these storage locations. So we’re really hoping that people in the industry Who believe that people using these aliases and the photographs that I have before you will come forward and advise us of those locations So we can further this investigation and perhaps, you know reclaim some of this property Reporter: How many storage lockers have you been able to get into so far? Detective Sgt Ian Nickel: Well thus far none we are aware of the existence of a very large ring of keys which we believe are associated to these lockers And for other reasons as well, we believe that we’re looking at a multitude of lockers in different locations across the GTA Reporter: What kind of stuff would you expect to find there? Detective Sgt Ian Nickel: Jewelry gold bullion silver bullion and a variety of electronics Typically high-end electronics cell phones and and other equipment Reporter: Do you have any idea on how he was getting the information, intercepting shipments, did he have someone working on the logistics? Detective Sgt Ian Nickel: There there is a hacking component or at the very least a social engineering component to this that involves most forms of account takeovers be they financial or otherwise where Persons are unwittingly duped into providing information. They shouldn’t that information is then harnessed and utilized to further an offense Okay, thank you Police Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu:That concludes today’s news conference a news release will be published with all the photographs and the information provided by the Detective Sergeant. Thank you

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1 Comment

  1. Will they contact people who have been affected? Someone kept trying to steal my information and opening credit cards, I filed a police report and an officer then called me saying that they couldn't do anything. =/

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