Charges laid in fraudulent home security scam

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We have accused two men of fraudulently selling and authorizing customer contracts for the installation of home alarm systems.

During a four-month investigation that began in November 2021, investigators learned that two men, who were directors of a Calgary-based home alarm business, created 80 fraudulent accounts and contracts for home security systems. Between July and October 2021, the two men invoiced the fake contracts to a parent company located in Saskatchewan, resulting in $132,800 in fraudulent payments pocketed by the two men.

The parent company had previously arranged for the Calgary-based company to develop customer contracts by selling, installing and servicing security systems for residential and commercial customers. Because the Calgary company is a legitimate authorized dealer for the parent company, the suspects were paid for their work by the parent company each time they signed a new client.

In August 2021, the parent company began receiving complaints from customers who claimed to be charged for services they had not signed up for. In October, they began to receive payment denials for customer contracts created by the Calgary company. Concerned about the legitimacy of the contracts, the parent company conducted an audit of the properties for which the Calgary company claimed to have contracts, and it was ultimately found that none of the contracts were valid. Company officials then notified the Calgary Police Department.

Investigators discovered that the two men had used the identities of several existing customers to create fraudulent contracts while creating two fake front companies to authorize the bogus contracts.

On Thursday March 17, 2022, three search warrants were executed and both men were arrested in Calgary.

As a result, 29-year-old Christopher Luke JELLOW was charged with one count of fraud over $5,000, using false documents, driving with a suspended license, driving a vehicle at uninsured engine and driving an unregistered motor vehicle. He is also known to have used the pseudonym Luke MATHESON.

He is due to appear in court on Wednesday, May 18, 2022.

Navin MAGHERA, 46, is charged with one count of fraud over $5,000 and one count of forgery. He is also known to have used the pseudonym Nav SHIPRA.

He will next appear in court on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

“Fraud investigations often take several months due to their complexity,” says Staff Sergeant Geoff Gawlinski of the Calgary Police Department’s Economic Crimes Unit. “Throughout the investigation, several areas of the Service assisted in bringing this case to a successful conclusion, including the Fraud Team, the Police Online Investigations Team, the money laundering and asset forfeiture, anti-corruption team and our frontline members. We are proud that through collaborative efforts, we were able to bring charges against the individuals responsible for defrauding several people and a legitimate business out of thousands of dollars.

The Calgary Police Department reminds citizens to report any fraudulent activity to police by calling the non-emergency number at 403-266-1234 or by dialing 911 for a crime in progress. Tips can also be left anonymously by contacting Crime Stoppers using one of the following methods:

TALK: 1-800-222-8477

TYPE: www.calgarycrimestoppers.org

APP: “P3 Tips”

AC#21437802/5216

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