Competition Bureau Canada

Competition Bureau Canada
Industry Canada

Industry Canada

May 05, 2008 16:01 ET

Fraudulent Cheque Scammer Receives Jail Time Following Competition Bureau and Toronto Strategic Partnership Action

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 5, 2008) - A cooperative effort between the Competition Bureau and the Toronto Strategic Partnership has resulted in a total of 20 months in jail for an individual involved in an advanced fee lottery and cheque clearing scam.

Justice Bruce Duncan of the Ontario Court sentenced Johnnathan Hunter of Mississauga, Ontario, to jail time after he pled guilty to criminal fraud charges and to violating his bail conditions. Mr. Hunter had already been in custody after bail was denied on two occasions.

"Thanks to the cooperation between the Bureau and the Toronto Strategic Partnership, the removal of Mr. Hunter as a key figure in this scam has seriously impeded this operation from continuing to defraud innocent victims," said Andrea Rosen, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Competition. "We are pleased with this significant sentence for a fraud of this type."

In June 2007, Mr. Hunter was charged with fraud over $5,000 under the Criminal Code for his part in a scam that led victims in the U.S. to cash in counterfeit cheques and wire the funds to a money transfer outlet, where Mr. Hunter would then pick it up. Consequently, the victims lost the money they deposited after the cheques bounced. Mr. Hunter was denied bail and remained in custody until March 2008, when he pled guilty to the charges and was released on conditional bail.

Mr. Hunter was arrested again two weeks later after he violated his bail conditions, and subsequently pled guilty to failing to comply with those terms. Mr. Hunter has spent a total of over 10 months in jail so far.

During sentencing, Justice Duncan said that this type of activity has to be deterred as it is easy to commit fraud in our society.

The Bureau's efforts in stopping cheque scams is part of its overall role in fraud prevention.

The Bureau is one of the founding members of the Toronto Strategic Partnership, which also includes the Ontario Provincial Police, the Toronto Police Service, the RCMP, Ontario's Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, PhoneBusters, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the UK's Office of Fair Trading. The partnership is a multi-law enforcement agency, formed in response to ever increasing cross-border mass fraudulent marketing schemes.

The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency. We contribute to the prosperity of Canadians by protecting and promoting competitive markets and enabling informed consumer choice.

Contact Information

  • Media enquiries:
    Pamela Wong
    Communications Advisor
    External Relations and Public Affairs Branch
    819-953-7734
    or
    General enquiries:
    Competition Bureau
    Information Centre
    819-997-4282
    1-800-348-5358/TDD (hearing impaired): 1-800-642-3844
    compbureau@cb-bc.gc.ca