Toronto Police say they have charged a suspect in connection with an alleged romance scam that allegedly saw a number of victims collectively bilked of close to half-a-million dollars.
The alleged fraud began in February 2020 and went on for more than a year through June 2021.
According to police, a man would meet victims on dating platforms, gaining their trust and leading them into a romantic relationship.
However after a short period of dating, police said, he would introduce opportunities for the victims to invest with him, presenting himself as an investment specialist who could provide high-return, short-term investments.
The suspect made the same pitch to the victims’ families, who also invested with him, police said.
In total, the suspect obtained about $460,000 from his victims, according to police.
In a news release issued Wednesday, investigators said they have now laid charges in the case.
He said that 36-year-old Jaspal Thiara of Toronto has been charged with five counts of fraud over $5,000. He is scheduled to make an appearance in a Toronto courtroom on Nov. 29.
Police said they believe there may be more victims and are asking anyone with further information to contact police or to call Crimestoppers anonymously.