The owner of a Winnipeg limousine company allegedly overcharged customers, fraudulently used credit card data and laundered money between various bank accounts, say police.
The revelations were revealed Friday during a news conference following an investigation that began in May 2019.
Police say their financial crimes unit was alerted by a mobile payment processing company who believed one of their merchants had been processing unauthorized credit card data through its merchant account, dating back to 2018.
Police concluded their lengthy investigation in February 2021 and found customer credit card information was used for fraudulent transactions, such as overcharging customers their regular fare price. The charges went unnoticed until customers viewed their statements at a later date.
Investigators also found customer credit card data from legitimate transactions was saved and then later used without the customer’s permission.
Twenty-three different credit cards were used for more than 91 unauthorized transactions, totalling over $865,000, between July 2, 2018, and October 10, 2019. During that same time, police say approximately $1 million of fraudulently obtained funds were transferred between various bank accounts as a method of laundering the money.
Rupinder Singh Brar, 36, of Winnipeg was charged on January 14, 2021 with 14 fraud and money laundering-related offences.
The owner of Hollywood Limousine Service was released on a promise to appear in court at a later date.
Police identified 12 victims as part of the investigation, including independent customers, corporate companies, a travel agency, several financial institutions, and a local non-profit organization.