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Two men charged in Fraud investigation,
Project 'Under'

Broadcast time: 15:30
Monday, October 1, 2018

Organized Crime Enforcement

Case #: 2018-1611119

The Toronto Police Service would like to inform the public of an arrest made in a fraud investigation.

The 'Toronto Strategic Partnership' is a collaboration of the Toronto Police Service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Competition Bureau of Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, the Ontario Ministry of Finance, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

In July 2018, officers assigned to the Strategic Partnership commenced an investigation dubbed Project “Under.”

It is alleged that:

- two men continuously participated in a scheme to defraud individuals and businesses using stolen/altered business cheques

- people were contacted by the men posing as legitimate customers seeking services that required disbursement of funds

- people were provided with high denomination altered cheques, they deposited them, forwarding funds to accounts controlled by the men

- the people would be informed the cheques were forgeries, and were held responsible for losses

- many of the victims targeted were American lawyers providing business services

The investigation was assisted by York Regional Police, United States Postal Inspection Service, FBI, US Homeland Security Investigations, and postal inspectors with Canada Post Security and Investigations.

On Wednesday, September 26, 2018, Criminal Code Search warrants were executed at five locations in Toronto, Peel, and York Region.

Pius Idahosa, 48, of Vaughan, is charged with:

1. Two counts of Defraud the Public -Over $5000
2. Six counts of Used Forged Document
3. Possess Instruments of Forgery
4. Possess Forged Document
5. Forgery
6. Possession of Property Obtained by Crime

Otis Idahosa, 54, of Toronto, is charged with:

1. Defraud the Public - Over $5000
2. Six counts of Use Forged Document
3. Possess Instruments of Forgery
4. Possess Forged Document
5. Forgery
6. Possess Proceeds Obtained by Crime - Under $5000

They are scheduled to appear at Toronto West Courts on Tuesday, October 2, 2018, at 10 a.m., in courtroom 204.

The Toronto Police Service would like to remind businesses and individuals to take all reasonable precautions to ensure the cheques they accept are legitimate and relate to transactions that have been fully validated prior to forwarding any associated funds to a third party.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-2500, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at, 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, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

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Constable David Hopkinson, Corporate Communications, for Detective Sergeant Ian Nichol, Organized Crime Enforcement - Financial Crimes Unit