Suspected ringleader of alleged grandparent fraud scam deported from Italy to Montreal

The suspected ringleader of a major alleged fraud targetting seniors in Quebec has been deported back to Canada to face charges at the Montreal courthouse tomorrow.

Montreal police say they've been working on getting Patrick Dinucci, 32,  extradited from Italy and finally got an extradition order last month. Dinucci was scheduled to arrive at Trudeau Airport this afternoon.

Dinucci appears in court by videoconference tomorrow. He and his co-accused face charges of fraud of over $5000, conspiracy and possessing of stolen goods of over $5000.

Back in May, police arrested Dinucci and 22 other people in connection with the so-called 'grandparent scam.'  

Montreal police say their counterparts in Forli, Italy helped them arrest Dinucci. Dinucci has dual citizenship and left Montreal for Italy in 2015.

Commander Juan Francisco Vargas of the Montreal police economic crimes unit said they believe Dinucci was the head of the alleged fraud ring. 

Vargas said Dinucci is suspected of being the one who phoned victims pretending to be a lawyer or a police officer saying their grandchildren were arrested and needed money for bail or to avoid a criminal record. 

"It was Mr. Dinucci who sent people to collect the money while he was on the phone with the seniors," said Vargas in a telephone interview with CJAD 800 News.

The accused are suspected of defrauding people out of about  $2.5 million since 2014. As many as 500 cases are involved, most in Montreal with the rest in Laval, Longueuil and other cities in the province.