More victims come forward in case of alleged romance fraudster

Alleged victims have contacted police recently

New alleged victims have come forward after the Coquitlam RCMP warned the public of a romance fraudster accused of bilking money out of people he met on dating websites.

Earlier this month, Mounties confirmed that two people had been caught up in the scam allegedly perpetrated by Reza Moeinian, a 37-year-old Maple Ridge man, and investigators believed there could be other victims. Now, the RCMP said at least two more people have spoken with police. 

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“More potential victims are coming forward and we are following up on a steady stream of new information,” said Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Michael McLaughlin. “I will confirm that we are dealing with more than one potential new victim.”

Moeinian is accused of developing romantic relationships with more than one person. After several months, he convinces the victims to sigh up for credit cards and lines of credit, “which are promptly drained,” McLaughlin said. 

He often uses a pseudonym and poses as a foreign businessman, according to police. 

Coquitlam RCMP released Moeinian’s name and image to the public in early March after hearing of similar incidents around Metro Vancouver. McLaughlin said at the time that police were unable to find “the sources of income that explain [Moeinian’s] lifestyle.”

So far, he has been charged with two counts of fraud over $5,000, one count of theft over $5,000 and one count of causing someone to use a forged document associated with the initial two victims. But McLaughlin said officers expect to present new evidence to Crown in the coming months, which could lead to additional charges. Investigators continue to encourage potential victims to come forward if they have not yet spoken with police and said their identities will be protected. 

Moeinian is described as a Middle Eastern man with a medium complexion, short, brown hair, and brown eyes; he is 5’8” tall and has a slender build, weighing 135 lb. 

Mounties are asking anyone who may have been a victim to call their local police department. Those who may have been victimized in Anmore, Belcarra, Coquitlam or Port Coquitlam can call the Coquitlam RCMP’s non-emergency line at 604-945-1550 and ask to speak with Const. Alex Bojic. 

gmckenna@tricitynews.com

Read more at TriCity News

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