January 9, 2019 12:59 pm

2nd man charged in $250K Edmonton vehicle part fraud investigation

A second suspect has been arrested and charged in connection with an Edmonton police investigation into credit card fraud.

Nathalie Madore/CP
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Four months after one man was arrested and accused of using stolen credit cards to defraud several Edmonton businesses, a second man has been charged.

Edmonton police said between November 2017 and April 2018, they received more than 10 reports of fraud from local businesses selling vehicle parts and electrical goods.

READ MORE: Stolen wallet? What to do when thieves get your cards and PIN

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Police determined that two men were using stolen credit card information to buy more than $250,000 worth of items.

“This fraud operation appears well planned and cost several businesses a great deal of time and money,” Det. Nigel Phillips said in September 2018, when one of the suspects was caught.

READ MORE: Stolen credit card info used to defraud Edmonton businesses $250K

Peter Philip Cardinal, 60, was arrested and charged with five counts of fraud over $5,000, two counts of fraud under $5,000 and uttering a forged document. He was also charged regarding an unrelated outstanding criminal warrant.

At that time, police said they were still actively working to find the second suspect.

On Jan. 3, investigators charged Richard Joseph Zukowksi, 42, with the same crimes as Cardinal. Zukowksi was released on bail and is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, Feb. 7.

If other businesses selling similar goods believe they may have been defrauded, they are encouraged to contact Edmonton police.

READ MORE: Police expect fraud cases to continue to rise in Edmonton

Edmonton police say overall reports of fraud, identity theft and identity fraud have gone up a staggering 89 per cent in just five years.

Between 2013 and 2017, fraud reports jumped to 5,963 a year from the previous 3,306 a year — an 80-per-cent increase, according to police. Identity theft went up 284 per cent to 169 reports a year from the previous 44, and identity fraud was up 145 per cent to 833 complaints from 339.

READ MORE: Fraud reports are up 89% in just 5 years and criminals want e-money: Edmonton police

Identity theft is when a person’s personal information is collected for criminal purposes, and identity fraud is the actual deceptive use of the information, according to RCMP.

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