TORONTO, Ontario — Police arrested two people for allegedly targeting the city’s Filipino community in a $3.5-million Ponzi scheme.
Glenda Esteves, 45, and Teddy Lee Esteves, 44, were arrested and charged with fraud, forgery and money laundering. The Esteves was scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 13, while Mr. Esteves is to appear on Oct. 22.
The arrests resulted from a year-long investigation by Toronto’s financial crimes unit “Project Cosmo” of several companies namely, B + E Investments, Infy Trading Inc. and Mac Glamour Ltd., that allegedly recruited investors with promises of large payouts.
Investors were led to believe they were putting their money in a cosmetics company but, in fact, police said, “the victims were deceived and their money was never used for any investment.” The investors lost more than $3.5 million, and there are likely more victims and other companies involved in the scheme.
A company known as Mac Glamour Ltd. allegedly recruited victims and convinced them to take out loans and second mortgages, or invest cash and other equity in the company’s future.
Victims were all promised large financial returns on their investment. But police say the money was never used for investments.
On Wednesday, August 12, 2020, officers from the Toronto Police Financial Crimes Unit, along with officers from 32 Division Toronto Police Fraud Unit and Community Response Unit, executed a search warrant in the Yonge Street and Finch Avenue West area and arrested the Esteves pair.
Police are asking anyone who has dealt with these companies to contact them via email at [email protected].
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7300, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, online on our Facebook Leave a Tip page, or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes or Google Play.
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