Editor’s note: This article has been updated since it was originally published on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024, at 4:40 p.m. For most recently updated information, please see bottom of article.
A local man has been arrested and is now facing nearly two dozen charges following a six-month investigation into a scam that netted at least seven victims over four years, according to Kingston Police.
In a press release on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2023, police said that the investigation began in June of 2023 after an initial complaint was received. As the investigation unfolded, investigators were able to identify six additional complainants, Kingston Police said.
The scam involved the accused man accepting money from the complainants “with the promise of a large sum in return,” police detailed, noting that these types of schemes are often referred to as “advance-fee scams. Perhaps most egregious of the allegations against the fraudster: “In two of the investigations the accused told the victims he was an OPP officer.”
According to police, 57-year-old Steven Scott of Kingston was arrested today, Thursday, Jan. 4, 2023, at a residence “in the downtown area.” But the arrest was made difficult for police when Scott “became combative and attempted to flee from officers,” Kingston Police said.
As a result, Scott has been charged with 21 criminal offences. While they did not list all of the charges against him, police did disclose that Scott has been charged with:
- Personation of a peace officer
- Fraud exceeding $5,000
- Fraud not exceeding $5,000
- Resisting arrest
- Escape from lawful custody
- Laundering the proceeds of crime
Kingston Police said Scott was transported to Kingston Police Headquarters and held for a bail hearing where he was “subsequently remanded into custody.” However, Kingstonist reporter Michelle Dorey Forestell was observing court proceedings today, and saw Scott’s appearance. While Scott remains in custody, court proceedings indicated that his bail hearing was delayed while counsel attempt to seek out a surety. Kingstonist has inquired about these discrepancies with Kingston Police, as well as discrepancies around Scott’s age and the spelling of his first name. Kingstonist has also asked if police believe there may be further victims of this fraud scheme whom police are unaware of at this time.
This article will be updated if/when more information becomes available.
UPDATE (Friday, Jan. 5. 2024, at 11:17 a.m.):
Steven Scott appeared in bail court Friday, Jan. 5, 2024.
Duty Council, David Francis, requested a section 517 publication ban on the case, which was granted by Justice of the Peace David Auger.
As arranged Thursday, Jan 4, 2024, Scott was brought to the Kingston court Friday to discuss his bail plan with Francis. Francis indicated that he planned to discuss this with Scott Friday morning and he did not expect to have an update on any potential sureties before Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024.
Auger ordered the matter adjourned until Jan. 9, 2024, and Scott was remanded into custody until that time.
In terms of further information from police, Constable Anthony Colangeli confirmed the spelling of Scott’s name (as above), as well as that Scott was held in custody yesterday and scheduled to appear in court again today (as outlined above). Colangeli would not disclose Scott’s place of employment.
Colangeli did say, however, that it does not appear as though any specific demographic was targeted.
“And, yes, investigators do believe there may be more victims that have yet to report to police,” he disclosed.
Along with anyone who may have information about the alleged fraud perpetrated by Scott, Kingston Police would also like to hear from anyone who thinks they may have fallen victim to the scams. Those with information to report can contact Kingston Police at 613-549-4660. Anyone wanting to disclose information to police without identifying themselves may do so by calling the Kingston Police general number (613-549-4660 ext. 0) and requesting to remain anonymous.
This is a developing story. Kingstonist will provide further coverage as more information becomes available.