Computer Crime Research Center


Fraud investigation leads to charges

Date: August 09, 2008

Following a two-year investigation into international Internet fraud, a Kelowna man has been arrested.

The Calgary Police Service and Royal Canadian Mounted Police conducted a two-year investigation related to a series of Internet frauds, in which victims in the United States and Sweden were defrauded of hundreds of thousands of dollars through Internet auctions for vintage automobiles.

The investigation indicates these Internet frauds may have been part of a larger scheme, where victims were lured into bidding on Internet auction sites for vintage automobiles.

Victims would then send their money, usually in the tens of thousands of dollars, by wire transfer to bank accounts held in Calgary.

The victims would either fail to receive a purchased vehicle or received a vehicle that was not the same as the item purchased. The money that was received from victims into holding company bank accounts was then directed elsewhere.

In April 2008, the RCMP executed several search warrants in Vernon and Kelowna, as a part of this investigation.

At that time, RCMP arrested two other individuals, both of whom were charged with several counts of fraud and theft.

Last week, Kurtis Eugene Pomerleau, of Kelowna, was arrested and charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000 and two counts of theft over $5,000.

Pomerleau is currently before the courts in Kelowna, for several other charges of Internet fraud stemming from May 2007. He had been released on his own recognizance at the time these current charges were laid.

The Calgary Police Service Commercial Crime Unit is continuing to investigate this matter and additional criminal charges may be forthcoming. Calgary police and the RCMP continue to examine additional leads as part of a joint effort to combat Internet crime.

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