Calgary police charge man, issue warrants after foiling fraud scheme

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One man has been arrested and another is wanted after Calgary police uncovered a fraud scheme that raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars from Alberta Student Aid and several universities.

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City officials were made aware of the program in October 2019 after a peace officer from the Higher Education Special Investigation Team noticed inconsistencies in several student loan applications. A Calgary Police Department investigation uncovered a scheme that ran from May 2017 to May 2020 to fraudulently acquire student loans.

The two suspects are accused of using the stolen identities of 21 people to apply for government student loans. The requests were made using the fake names and the individuals then attended multiple universities to meet the loan requirements, a press release said on Tuesday.

Most of the requests were made online and resulted in approvals for amounts ranging from $ 25,000 to $ 38,000. After physically attending school, scammers phoned Alberta student aid offices and demanded the release of remaining loan funds, resulting in payments of up to $ 26,000 per loan.

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Police said approximately $ 240,000 was stolen as part of the scheme. They say the money was deposited directly into bank accounts created under false names.

Dave Guylenz Mitchell Beauvais, 32, is charged with money laundering, fraud over $ 5,000, identity theft, possession of identity documents, forgery of documents and possession of a controlled substance.

Beauvais is due in court on November 10.

Kader Dahchi, 30, is wanted on warrant on one count of using a false document and one count of identity theft.

Staff Sgt. Geoff Gawlinski said police believed Dahchi had left Alberta. He said other people are believed to have helped the two suspects.

“Our investigation found that they used multiple people to go to school and sit on the seats to make it seem like a real student in the classroom. There were no disguises per se, but they were able to requisition several people to help them, ”Gawlinski said.

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Gawlinski said police have not confirmed which data breaches led to the stolen identities, but noted that there had been several high-profile breaches recently. He said identity fraud was on the rise.

“There are more and more common identity crimes that we have heard about over the past couple of years, including cryptocurrency investments, puppy scams, online credit card loan applications. and romantic scams, ”Gawlinski said.

Calgary Police are warning Calgarians to protect their personal and financial information. They said never give out information to someone you don’t know or enter it through an unsecured website. They also ask the public to regularly monitor their financial records and report any fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center.

Gawlinski also said people shouldn’t leave documents with their personal information in their cars.

Anyone who believes their personal information has been compromised is asked to call the SPC non-emergency line at 403-266-1234.

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