Further charges laid after GTA homes rented using fake ID turned into rooming houses

Arif Adnan Syed, 29, is seen in this undated photograph provided by York Regional Police.

Additional charges have been laid against a GTA man who has been accused of using fraudulent documents to rent luxury houses only to turn them into rooming houses for a profit.

York Regional Police began an investigation in April 2020 after receiving information about a suspect in possession of fake identification documents.

It was later determined that between December 2019 and June 2020, two suspects used fraudulent identification to rent luxury homes in Markham and Richmond Hill, police said.

According to investigators, they then altered the interiors of the homes to allow multiple tenants and subleased the homes as rooming houses.

“In some cases, more than 20 people were residing in the homes and paying rent to the suspects,” police said in a news release issued Thursday. “The homeowners did not receive any rental payments and had not been able to evict the suspects or the occupants due to COVID-19 restrictions.”

Two people were charged in June 2020 with fraud over $5,000, uttering forged documents and identity fraud in connection with the investigation.

In February 2021 investigators discovered that one of the suspects had continued to rent luxury houses in York Region. The suspect showed the owners fraudulent identification and then converted the homes into subleased rental spaces for numerous people, police said.

On Oct. 5, a suspect identified as Markham resident Arif Adnan Syed, 39, was further charged with three counts of fraud over $5,000, false statement in writing, uttering forged document and possession of property obtained by crime.

The charges have not been proven in court.

In the news release police issued a warning to homeowners to be aware of how their investment properties are being used when renting them out.

Anyone with further information is being urged to contact police or reach out to Crime Stoppers anonymously.