The Alberta RCMP Integrated Market Enforcement Team (IMET) has obtained Canada-wide warrants for a husband and wife.
Fernando Honorate de Silva Fagundes, 65, and Emilia Alas-As Elansin, 40 have been charged with fraud over $5,000, theft over $5,000 contrary and money laundering.
Fagundes allegedly operated his criminal activity under the alias Jovan Cavallon and Elansin under Janelle Cavallon.
"Fagundes is believed to be responsible for managing the administration of bonuses to Fagundes' companies," said Sargeant Lloyd of the Calgary IMET. "Both Fagundes and Elansin have fled the Millarville area and their current whereabouts are unknown."
Sargeant Schoepp underlined that while the couple had no fixed address, their last known whereabouts were in the Millarville area and there are currently no leads as to where the suspects may be at this time.
"Fagundes portrayed himself as a day trading expert to approach victims with investment opportunities that were later determined to be fraudulent," Schoepp said. "Investors in both Alberta and British Columbia reportedly provided money to Fagundes through Family First Dynasty Inc. believing he would trade their finances in the stock market to make a profit."
The investigation showed that Fagundes allegedly obtained approximately 1.3 million Canadian dollars from investors for his own gains.
"I can't confirm the amount [of money victims] lost due to specific investors in different areas, but I can confirm that the investors were from Alberta and British Columbia and there were the as the complaint initiated out of the Turner Valley, Millarville area."
Corporal Deanna FontaineAlberta RCMP Media Relations wrote, "IMET’s investigation focused on 20 victims; however, there are additional victims of this investment scam across Alberta, British Columbia and the United States. The exact number is unknown."
Fontaine added that the couple that is wanted, moved into the Millarville area in January 2019 and are known to have left the area in approximately November 2020.
"IMET’s investigation supports that it would have started in approximately February 2019 and continued until approximately November 2020."
Fagundes is believed to have committed similar frauds in Portugal, the United States, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. The Alberta RCMP was able to successfully lay charges in this investigation through collaboration with the Forensic Accounting Management Group, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Center of Canada, Public Prosecution Service of Canada and Specialized Prosecutions of the Province of Alberta, Alberta Securities Commission (ASC), Ontario Securities Commission, Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan, and US Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Schoepp also offered recommendations for Albertans and Canadians so as to avoid becoming a victim of scammers.
"I think I think the most important thing is due diligence," he said. "In this case, high returns were offered. So one of the things you have to consider is the amount of return that you're getting and is it realistic to the market in general>
He also suggested researching the background of companies before ever committing to any investments.
"You really have to double-check and do background checks on who you're investing with. Do they have a brick-and-mortar presence? Can you actually follow up with who's there?" Schoepp said. "Just check and recheck and check once again, and look at the various Securities Commission websites, the Canadian anti-fraud centre."
IMET is a specialized unit under the RCMP Federal Policing program that detects, investigates, and deters market fraud. The IMET unit works closely with the ASC to protect investors and further enhance confidence in Canada’s capital markets.
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