Police arrest 16 in Toronto-area vehicle fraud financing ring that scammed $2.85M

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Police say that 16 people have been arrested in connection with a ring of vehicle finance frauds in the Greater Toronto Area.

A salesperson at a car dealership is included in the arrests and the accused are facing a combined 431 charges.

Investigators say the frauds were committed by using stolen identities to buy vehicles with falsified financial loan applications.

The purchased vehicles were mostly newer or high-end models, such as Mercedes-Benz, Land Rovers, Audi, BMW, Toyota, Lexus and Ford.

The investigation ran from October 2020 to Feb. 4, and involved several agencies in Canada and the United States.

Investigators also worked closely with Toronto-area automobile dealerships to look for these transactions using new fraud-detection devices.

Police in Durham and York regions collaborated to make the arrests.

Police say that 48 vehicles were fraudulently purchased, 19 of which were exported out of Canada and four were recovered.

Investigators say that the illegally obtained vehicles have a total value of $2.85 million.

The Canadian Press