Investigators with the York Regional Police Financial Crimes Unit have laid additional charges against a 39-year-old man in connection with an ongoing fraud investigation involving housing rentals.

York police began an investigation in April 2020 after receiving information about a suspect in possession of fake identification documents. Through the investigation, officers determined that from December 2019 to June 2020, two suspects, using fraudulent identification, rented luxury houses from homeowners in Markham and Richmond Hill. They then altered the interiors of the homes to allow multiple tenants and subleased the homes as rooming houses. In some cases, more than 20 people were residing in the homes and paying rent to the suspects. The homeowners did not receive any rental payments and had not been unable to evict the suspects or the occupants due to COVID-19 restrictions.

On June 22, 2020, police charged two suspects with Fraud over $5,000, Uttering Forged Documents, and Identity Fraud.

This February, investigators received information that one of the suspects continued to rent luxury houses in York Region by showing fraudulent identification to the owners, only to convert the homes into subleased rental spaces for numerous people.

Arif Adnan Syed, 39, of Markham was arrested On Tuesday October 5 and additional charges were laid.

This investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the York Regional Police Financial Crimes Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6612, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-tips or leave an anonymous tip online at www.1800222tips.com.

Police are advising homeowners to be aware of how their investment properties are being used when renting them out.

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