Two men arrested in “advance fee scheme” fraud investigation, Police believe there may be more victims

Toronto, Ontario – The Toronto Police Service Financial Crimes Unit would like to advise the public of arrests made in an “advance fee scheme” fraud investigation.

Investigators are appealing to potential victims to come forward and speak to police.

An advance fee scheme occurs when victims are convinced into making advance or up-front payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that never materialize.

Scam Alert
Scam Alert

It is alleged:

– men purported to be from a law-firm settling a class action lawsuit against alleged fraudulent precious gem brokers

– the men contacted victims who were believed to have been defrauded after investing in diamonds and gemstones

– the men promised large cash settlements from a lawsuit provided the victims first paid “attorney fees” in advance of receiving any payouts

– the information given to victims about the class action lawsuit settlement was false

– to date, the combined loss suffered by the victims is approximately $600,000

– the men used the following aliases while pretending to represent Ardern & Bennett LLP and Premier Credit Union:

Paul Bennett

David Ardern

James Greenstein

James Adelman

It is further alleged:

– police executed search warrants, and the evidence seized during these warrants has lead investigators to believe there may be additional victims

On Tuesday, May 12, 2020, Erik Ariel Fishman, 40, of Vaughan, was arrested. He was charged with:

1. two counts of Possession of Proceeds of Crime Over $5000

He is scheduled to appear in court at Old City Hall, on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 in room 111.

On Tuesday, May 12, 2020, Joseph Simon Rassi, 32, of Aurora, was arrested. He was charged with:

1. two counts of Fraud Over $5000

2. two counts of Conspiracy to Commit and Indictable Offence Over $5000

He is scheduled to appear in court at Old City Hall, on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 in room 111.

If you have been a victim of fraud or have any information about this investigation, please contact the Financial Crimes Unit at 416-808-7300.

The Toronto Police Service would like to thank the following agencies for their assistance in this case, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) and the Ministry of Finance

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

Case #: 2020-318112

Toronto Police Service



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