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Man charged in Toronto apartment deposit fraud

East York Mirror-Guardian - November 24, 2001

A man was arrested as he arrived in Toronto from Bulgaria last week in connection with a fraud investigation in which at least 60 prospective tenants of an East York apartment building were robbed of $116,000.

The arrest stems from a 1999 incident at 175 Cosburn Ave. when at least 60 people showed up on July 1 to take possession of an apartment, only to find there was no unit available and the superintendents they had given deposits to had left the country.

Police said a man and his wife who were superintendents at the building, just east of Pape Avenue, during April, May and June 1999, had placed a notice in a newspaper advertising Toronto apartments for rent.

Police said at least 60 people filled out applications for the unit and provided the superintendents with deposits, either by cash or cheque. But when the tenants began showing up on July 1, surrounded by others in the same situation, they realized there was no apartment and no way of retrieving their money. Det. Sgt. Paul Murphy of 54 Division said police were tipped off the man would be heading back to Canada.

Mohsen Hejazi, 48, who appeared in court Monday, is charged with one count of fraud over $5,000 and 14 counts of fraud under $5,000.

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