The province is going after a $1.9-million Burnaby house it claims is linked to various mail scams, including a well-known Canada Revenue Agency con.
The house, at 7318 4th St., is listed in the name of Zenggang Xue, who is believed to live in China, according to a lawsuit filed by the B.C. Civil Forfeiture Office in B.C. Supreme Court last month.
But the province claims the true owner of the home is his son, Haoran Xue, also known as Charlie Xue, and that he has been engaged in a laundry list of crimes, including fraud, forgery, identity theft, money laundering and income tax evasion.
As a proceed and instrument of illegal activity, the house should be forfeited, according to the province.
“If the property is not forfeited and/or proceeds from the sale of the property are released to the defendants, they will likely be used for the unlawful activity,” states the notice of civil claim.
Xue has not filed a response to the province’s suit and none of the allegations against him have been tested in court.
The threshold for proving a civil claim is lower than for a criminal conviction.
The RCMP launched an investigation in June into members of organized crime groups posing as Canada Revenue Agency, RCMP, software company and bank employees who contacted unsuspecting individuals and demanded cash or gift cards be sent to various retail mailboxes in B.C. and Ontario.
According to the province’s lawsuit, Mounties determined Xue had set up various retail mailboxes in Metro Vancouver – at times using fraudulent driver’s licences – and was retrieving the ill-gotten money from them.
He was arrested after a search of his Burnaby home revealed several fraudulent driver’s licences and mortgage documents, according to the suit.
A further search during the arrest revealed a cell phone with text messages containing alleged victims’ names, the amounts of money demanded from them and the addresses of the mailboxes they were supposed to send it to, according to the notice of civil claim.
There was also a video on the phone of Xue opening a parcel containing cash stored in a book.
According to the notice of civil claim, police determined $1 million had moved through Xue’s account since January.
No charges have been laid against Xue, but the “matter is subject to an on-going investigation,” according to an emailed statement from B.C. RCMP spokesperson Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet.