Wife of Toronto gunman says two victims allegedly defrauded family of life savings

TORONTO — The gunman in a fatal Toronto shooting believed the two victims had defrauded his family, his wife said, as court records indicate the family was suing the pair after losing more than a million dollars in an alleged investment scam.

In a statement released by her lawyers, Alisa Pogorelovsky said her husband Alan Kats – who also died in the shooting – "could not handle losing our life savings and that is what lead to this tragic event."

"I hope someday my family will be able to recover," she wrote.

Police have identified the victims of Monday's shooting as 54-year-old Arash Missaghi and 44-year-old Samira Yousefi, but have not identified the 46-year-old shooter.

Court records detail how Pogorelovsky and her husband sued the two people killed in the shooting, and others, after losing $1.28 million in an alleged syndicated mortgage fraud.

The allegations against Missaghi and Yousefi had not been proven in court.

Missaghi faced charges in 2018 for his alleged role in a complex mortgage fraud scheme valued at $17 million, an investigation police dubbed as Project Bridle Path.

Pogorelovsky's statement said, "the events that gave rise to the litigation that we are involved in with Missaghi and Yousefi have devastated and now destroyed our family."

The statement said she found a note after the shooting, written by her husband, that explains "what he was thinking and why he acted as he did."

The shooting Monday afternoon in Toronto's North York neighbourhood took place at a business that conducts "financial transactions," police have said. Four people were believed to be inside the building at the time.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 19, 2024.

Jordan Omstead, The Canadian Press