A $12-million mortgage fraud was discovered by police in Calgary that involved 22 homes and eight banks.
A team of men allegedly convinced naive "straw buyers" to use their names to obtain mortgages as an investment. The buyers were told after six months, the mortgages would be taken over by the men, and were supposedly given $3,000 to $5,000 in return.
"Most of (the buyers) were fairly young, as far as residential buyers, with their ages ranging from 20 to 28," said Kevin Forsen, inspector of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams, to the Canadian Press.
The men supposedly gained a large amount of money from the mortgages and walked away afterward, leaving the buyers' responsible.
Ali El-Sayed, 31, is charged with extortion, and 23 counts of fraud over $5,000, and affect his company, Ramses Holdings Inc.
Christos Fotopoulous, 28, surrendered to police Wednesday and was charged with three counts of fraud over $5,000.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Russell Kilba, 34, and is wanted on 10 counts of fraud over $5,000.
The banks involved include Scotiabank, TD Canada Trust, ATB Financial, First National Financial, CIBC, Merix Financial, Royal Bank and MCAP Financial.