A former resident of the Lower Mainland of British Columbia reportedly fled Canada after he was arrested by immigration officials and issued a release bond of $10,000. The immigration officials investigated a scam that saw the victim pretend to be the Canada Revenue Agency. The employee fraudster remitted more than $1 million.
Although he is believed to be still in China, 27-year-old Xue Haoran was charged with nine criminal offences last month, involving a cross-jurisdictional investigation of an organized crime group that began in 2019.
The details of Xue’s disappearance are contained in court documents filed in recent months as part of a parallel ongoing civil war against the proceeds from the sale of Xue’s former home in Burnaby, British Columbia, which was finally valued at $1.9 million. .
The Commissioner of the Civil Forfeiture Bureau of British Columbia wanted to keep the money as proceeds of crime, claiming that Xue was the real owner, even though the house was registered in his father’s name.
The Federal and Serious Organized Crime Department of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced the charges against Xue last month.
He was accused of defrauding 7 victims from nearly 200,000 Canadian dollars. Although the Royal Canadian Mounted Police claimed that the total number of Canadians involved in the organization’s scam was close to 70, their losses were close to 1 million Canadian dollars.
According to a copy of the allegation obtained by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Xue was also accused of using the stolen identities of five other people to commit fraud on behalf of himself and his associates.
He allegedly pretended to be a man named David Franklin in order to rent a Richmond UPS box. The victim was allegedly told to send cash, police said.
“You just want to talk to someone”
One of the victims mentioned in the accusation spoke with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation agreed to an anonymous Calgary woman who said that a man calling herself “Mark” called her in May 2019, claiming to be an official of the Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto.
The 67-year-old said she lives alone.
“Sometimes, I think when you are very vulnerable, you just want to talk to someone, and when someone calls, you pick up the phone to answer, not knowing that you will have a problem with that person,” she said.
“And they are very smart at persuading you, which is another matter. People like me will be persuaded. This is my fault.”
She said that “Mark” told her to send $15,000. He seemed to know her address and took her to a nearby UPS location.
The lady said that she was now surprised that the bank teller asked her to withdraw money.
She did not understand why it took so long for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to complete the investigation of a defendant who is now far beyond the jurisdiction of the Canadian authorities.
The September 2019 hearing did not appear
According to the civil lawsuit, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police began investigating Xue in June 2019 as part of an investigation into organized criminal groups posing as employees of software companies, banks, and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). It said the victims were told to send cash and gift cards to mailboxes in British Columbia and Ontario.
The court documents stated that Xue transferred $1 million in and out of his bank account.
Investigators followed him for several weeks and eventually confiscated a cell phone. They said it contained the victim’s name and the address where they were told to send the specified amount of money.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested and released Xue in 2019. As a result of the fraud investigation, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) also initiated an immigration investigation.
According to court documents, the CBSA arrested Xue and then released him on bail of $10,000, awaiting a hearing scheduled for September 2019.
The documents stated that he fled Canada on or about August 15, 2019, at about the same time that his father put up the Burnaby house for sale.
“A respected contributing member of his community”
A judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia has issued a default order against Xue, and Xue has not yet responded to the civil forfeiture director’s claim.
But Xue’s father, Xue Zenggang, hired a B.C. lawyer and responded to the initial claims and recent documents from banks, real estate companies, and the Canadian Border Services Agency.
Xue Zenggang said that he owned a successful propane exchange business in a city 1,000 kilometers west of Beijing and paid for his son to come to Canada in 2012 to receive education at a private university.
My father said that he had visited Canada many times and was deeply impressed by the “local quality of life”. He said that he decided to use his savings to “provide accommodation for his son during his schooling period, generate rental income to offset the mortgage if possible, retire in this property, or just sell it on the market for profit.”
According to his court documents, Xue Zenggang spent the summer of 2019 in British Columbia when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police raided his home while investigating his son. He said he was not aware of these allegations before that.
In response to the civil lawsuit, Xue Zenggang said: “Zeng Gang is a respected contributor in the community of Yongji City. He has never committed or condoned anything that violates the law.”
“Zeng Gang and his family earn a living honestly through hard work and saving habits. This is their only source of funds for buying a house.”
The father pointed out that he had no allegations of misconduct and called the application for documents related to family financing “a fishing expedition.”
In May of this year, a judge supported the BC Provincial Civil Forfeiture Bureau’s order to publish relevant documents.
The proceeds of the house will be seized by the court until the completion of the trial on the merits of the civil claim.
None of the criminal charges have been confirmed in court.
Watch: CBC Marketplace investigates CRA phone scam: