Home National Member of ‘social group’ wanted in alleged $10M Toronto fraud ring handed over to police

Member of ‘social group’ wanted in alleged $10M Toronto fraud ring handed over to police

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Something was different about the man known as Mickie Noah. More than a year after police in Toronto issued a warrant for his arrest, he was in front of investigators. He looked thinner, in a hoodie and track pants. Det.-Const. Timothy Trotter noticed he wasn’t even wearing a watch.

“A polite term, would be considerably diminished from his former stature — sartorially and physically,” Trotter said in an interview on Wednesday.

U.S. immigration agents turned Noah over to Canadian authorities on Monday. It isn’t clear where he has been or what he’s been up to in the months following a Toronto Financial Crimes Unit investigation that unravelled an alleged fraud ring that bilked an estimated $10 million from stolen credit cards and other products.

Police say Noah, 44, was a member of the ring and the social group of Nigerian ex-pats that used the proceeds to fund a lavish lifestyle in downtown Toronto — brunches and designer clothes and cigars and bottle service. But, investigators say, he wasn’t the leader. That, according to allegations, was Adekunle Omitiran, known around Toronto as Johnson Chrome.

In April 2017 investigators arrested Chrome and called a news conference to announce the arrests made in Project Royal – a probe into the scheme named to reflect its brazen extravagance. Officers trotted out expensive suits, crocodile shoes, watches worth more than a sedan and laid them out like they would contraband firearms or parcels of drugs. All of it, they alleged, belonged to Chrome, purchased with the money from the scheme that involved pilfering credit information and setting up more than 5,000 credit products.

“It was a criminal organization/social group,” he said. “So they were all perceived as high rollers. They all partied together, right? That was one of his roles, was just as part of the cohesive group.”

It was the flashiness — the “conspicuous consumption” as investigators put it — that Trotter said helped detectives who were trying to piece together the links between the members of Chrome’s social group. They were photographed at dinners and clubs in Toronto’s upscale Yorkville neighbourhood, and at brunch on King West in the entertainment district.

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