Saskatoon police have laid new charges against one of the 25-year-old men accused of being involved in a “grandparent” scam targeting area residents.
On Wednesday, Saskatoon police announced Sofyane Elgamal, 25, from Quebec, will now face additional charges of fraud over $5,000 and recruiting for a criminal organization.
Elgamal now faces 13 counts of fraud over $5,000 and three criminal-organization related charges, police said.
Two other men from Quebec, Ahmad Ebadi, 25, and Cedric Boivin Oligny, 26, face 12 counts of fraud over $5,000.
Elgamal and Oligny were also previously charged with possession of proceeds of crime over $5,000. Ebadi also faces a charge of committing an indictable offence for the benefit of a criminal organization.
Ebadi was the first of the trio arrested, on Jan. 10, after police received new tips from the public in response to a media release about reports of people who had given money to a man claiming to be a courier, bailiff or bail bondsman. Elgamal and Oligny were arrested on Jan. 11.
Earlier this week, at a media conference, Supt. Patrick Nogier said these crimes involve leveraging a sense of urgency or panic by attempting to make the target believe that an immediate family member is in need. The person targeted becomes a victim in the process of trying to help their “family member.”
The people targeted in the scam ranged in age from their early 70s to mid 90s.
The investigation is ongoing.
Saskatoon police are encouraging anyone who has received a suspicious call, but has not been victimized to contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. They’re encouraging anyone who is the victim of fraud to report it to police.
-With StarPhoenix files from Thia James
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