Editor’s note: This article has been updated since it was first published at 9:57 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023. Please see bottom of article for most recently updated information.
Kingston Police have arrested and charged a former local resident now living in Toronto who employed the use of modern technology to violate the privacy of patrons at a Kingston restaurant and obtain their personal information for financial gain.
On Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023, police announced the arrest and charges, noting that the investigation into the accused individual began in June 2023. The accused person “worked at a restaurant in Kingston,” police said, and “while at their workplace would wear special glasses that had recording capabilities.”
Police went on to say that, when handed a debit or credit card, the accused individual would “look at them closely before returning them.”
“It was later discovered that the accused was recording the debit/credit card information,” Kingston Police said in a press release.
According to police, the accused person made “numerous online purchases” through a “major retailer.” The accused person then attended “the stores” for refunds, which were deposited into a their “personal debit accounts,” police said.
Kingstonist has inquired with police as to whether the retailer in question is locally based.
“To cover the trace of money, the funds were invested in crypto currency. During the investigation it was learned that the accused had opened a fake credit card in a family member’s name,” the press release from Kingston Police states, noting that the offences in the case “took place from Kingston to Toronto.”
Kingstonist has inquired as to whether all of the victims were patrons of the Kingston restaurant and/or defrauded locally through the camera glasses operation.
Police said that the accused person was located and arrested by Toronto Police on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023, and then transported to Kingston Police Headquarters. The accused was later released on conditions with a future court date.”
According to Kingston Police, as a result of the investigation, 20-year-old Jerun Suthaharan – who is formerly from Kingston but now a Toronto resident – was charged with the following offences under the Criminal Code of Canada:
- Theft of a credit card
- Fraud with a value over $5,000
- Possession of the proceeds of crime over $5,000
- Money laundering
- Identity theft
- Fraud with a value under $5,000
- Two counts of personation
Kingstonist has followed up with Kingston Police with several questions, including whether victims of the accused person’s fraudulent actions have been notified of the scheme and subsequent arrest. This article will be updated if/when more information becomes available.
Update (Thursday, Dec. 28, 2023, at 4:40 p.m.):
According to Kingston Police, the restaurant where a former Kingston resident used video-recording glasses to obtain the personal financial information of patrons (see above) is located in the city’s north end.
Asked whether the owners/management of the restaurant were aware of the former employee’s activities, Kingston Police told Kingstonist that “restaurant management confronted the individual about allegations, however, he promptly quit.” Police further explained that “Suthaharan moved to Toronto shortly after being confronted by the restaurant management.”
Police could not whether all of the victims of Suthaharan’s activities are from Kingston, but noted that “no cardholders were notified as ultimately the banks are the victims.”
“The banks do not advise police regarding how many cards were actually compromised,” Constable Ash Gutheinz, Media Relations Officer for Kingston Police, relayed.
With regard to the “major retailer” that the accused allegedly purchased items from before requesting refunds, police said that while the store in question is a local franchise location, “the initial purchases were made on the retailer’s online site.”