East Algoma OPP Fraud Investigation Leads to Two Arrests & Charges

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OPP NER building in North-Eastern Ontario

(BLIND RIVER, ON)- On December 14, 2020, members from the East Algoma Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the OPP’s East Algoma Crime Unit began a fraud investigation in the Town of Blind River.

The investigation determined a common-law couple from Blind River had purchased a used pick-up truck in the amount of over $40,000 from a car dealership in North York, Ontario. One of the accused was known to the victim. That person acted as a bookkeeper to the victim and had access to complainant’s personal information.

In order for the couple to purchase the vehicle they needed a co-signer. They forged the victim’s signature and used a copy of the victim’s Certificate of Indian Status for the tax exemption for the purchase of the pick-up truck. The vehicle transaction was completed by way of telephone, email and regular mail. The vehicle was then delivered to Blind River.

On January 21, 2021, the East Algoma Crime Unit executed a search warrant at a residence on Algoma Street in Blind River and one arrest was made, along with the seizure of a tablet, a laptop and cell phones.

As a result of the investigation, Jennifer VANDERVEER, 43 years-of-age from Blind River was charged with:

  • Possession of Property Obtained by Crime over $5000, contrary to section 355(a) of the Criminal Code (CC),
  • Use, Deals, Acts on Forged Document, contrary to section 368(1)(a) of the CC,
  • Fraud over $5000 (two counts), contrary to section 380(1)(a) of the CC,
  • Identity Theft-Obtain or Possess another Person’s Identity Information, contrary to section 402.2(1) of the CC.

The accused is scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Blind River on March 4, 2021.

On February 3, 2021, shortly after 11:30 a.m., police conducted a traffic stop where the second individual was arrested on Highway 108 in the City of Elliot Lake. The pick-up truck was seized.

Justen PEARSE, 43 years-of-age from Blind River was charged with:

  • Possession of Property Obtained by Crime over $5000, contrary to section 355(a) of the CC,
  • Use, Deals, Acts on Forged Document, contrary to section 368(1)(a) of the CC,
  • Fraud over $5000 (two counts), contrary to section 380(1)(a) of the CC,
  • Identity Theft-Obtain or Possess another Person’s Identity Information, contrary to section 402.2(1) of the CC.

The accused is scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Blind River on March 4, 2021.

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