Toronto police have charged a man in connection with an alleged Ponzi scheme that reportedly took almost $1 million from investors.
On July 13, police announced that John James Illidge, 66, of no fixed address, was arrested and faces a total of 18 charges, including five counts of fraud over $5,000, five counts of theft over $5,000, four counts of laundering the proceeds of crime and four counts of possessing property obtained by crime.
The charges have not been proven. Illidge’s first court appearance in the case was slated for July 12.
In announcing the charges, police alleged that Illidge met numerous people through social media sites, and “portrayed himself as an investor for different companies.”
They said that people provided him with investments, ranging from $20,000 to $500,000, purportedly to invest into companies that he claimed to own, or work for.
“He would provide them with small amounts of money he portrayed as interest payments over the course of a year or two convincing them they were profiting,” police said in a release.
Police allege that the investments “were allocated through money transfers, cash withdrawals, car purchases and car payments, department store purchases, food and personal purchases.”
Police said that the total amount taken from investors who reported the case to police is $955,980.