Quebec police arrested an 18-year-old man who was “actively involved” in a youth money-laundering scheme dubbed “La Guich”.
R eny-Felipe Valencia-Zuniga was arrested on Tuesday and appeared the following day at the Quebec City Court House for fraud over $ 5,000 and under $ 5,000 and for a breach of commitment.
“He would have been actively involved in the La Guich fraud scheme,” said Cyndi Paré, spokesperson for the Quebec City Police Service (SPVQ).
The Guich scheme (“Guich” is an abbreviation for a counter) usually involves a suspect who comes in contact with his victim, often a minor or vulnerable, through social media or in a public place.
The suspect gives his victim the opportunity to earn money quickly and safely. He explains that she has only to “lend her bank account” for a transaction, in exchange for financial compensation.
He then convinces the victim to send him his bank details and personal details and deposits fraudulently obtained money into his account. He then leads the victim to his banking institution where it has to make a withdrawal in his account and bring back the money.
People who lend their bank account may receive a certain amount in the transaction. But they expose themselves to being accused of complicity in fraud. The banking institutions can also ask to refund the amount defrauded.
The investigation into Reny-Félipe Valencia-Zuniga’s case is continuing and further arrests may follow, Paré said.
The SPVQ invites people who have information related to this type of fraud or who have been the victim of this scheme to dial 9-1-1 for immediate intervention or 418-641-AGIR (2447) and for people from outside Quebec City, 1-888-641-AGIR, toll-free throughout North America, to provide information that will be treated confidentially.