This guy is probably the craftiest expat scammer we’ve encountered in our ten years here, and we hope the law will catch up with him soon:
Ryan Fedoruk, a 40-year-old Canadian and former part-time English teacher in Shanghai, played his trick as a second-hand landlord who rented about 30 apartments from their owners and sublet them to over 80 tenants, mostly foreigners, throughout 2011, victims said.
Allegedly owing 300,000 yuan to his landlords and tenants, Fedoruk refused to pay the money and instead “disappeared” from the city on December 24, leaving many of his tenants facing evictions from apartment owners even on New Year’s Day.
“I know Fedoruk. He is a scammer and he ran away, owing me tens of thousands yuan,” said a landlord victim who refused to be named. “He rented the apartments, then he sublet them and disappeared with the money he owed to me and to the poor tenants, but I will find him.”
The landlord said he has asked real estate agents to report the scam to police.
Fedoruk has responded that he is in Zhuhai, in southern China’s Guangdong Province, for the purpose of borrowing money so that he can pay people back. But he has not responded to any e-mails or phone calls for more than a week.
The lawyer providing victims with legal aid, Eva Gao, has written a lengthy account of the incident detailing Fedoruk’s modus operandi. Here’s a snippet:
The confirmation that Fedoruk was not returning to Shanghai came when Albert, who had only recently moved into the same apartment as Fedoruk, stated that “All of his essential belonging are gone, including his personal LCD television. I honestly think Ryan is bailing out on all of us.” A week after that, Albert was evicted along with three other roommates. Fedoruk had breached the rental contract by subletting the apartment. “From my point of view, it seems as if Ryan had taken my money and then left Shanghai with all his belongings, knowing he would not come back.”
Fedoruk not only cheated tenants who had already moved out by not returning their deposits, and current tenants by getting them evicted and not returning their rent nor their deposits, he knowingly screwed over people who had not even moved in yet.
According to one tenant on New Year’s Day, “There are about six people that paid Ryan from abroad in advance to secure a spot in his place on Changyi Lu. These individuals will be out of money and a place to stay in Shanghai.” He was correct. On the same day that tenants of Fedoruk’s own apartment in Lujiazui was evicted, the six who had moved to Shanghai for not even a few days were given a day to vacate their apartment.
Not all evictions were obvious to even the tenants being evicted. In November, Cheong, who was overseas at the time and had already paid months of rent in advance, was informed by his roommates that Fedoruk was moving them to a different apartment “because the landlord was an ass and didn’t want to fix the house. But the real reason was that Ryan didn’t pay the landlord rent. I got this info from the agent responsible for the apartment.”
Cheong has since moved elsewhere but never got his money back from Fedoruk, putting him in financial hardship. “I had to borrow money in order to get the new room I am actually staying at. I worked my ass off to get money and Ryan would just hold on to the money. When he had the money, he just blew it off at fancy western restaurants or bars. That really pissed me off.”
Even some who were not facing eviction (yet) from the true landlords were threatened by Fedoruk himself. One tenant in an all-girls apartment wrote, “Some days, Ryan is nice with us, but sometimes he’s really scary and threatens to kick us out when it comes to the rent or to the internet issues. All of that because we refused to pay the rent before the date stipulated in the contract.”
If you are one of the victims and have information that you want to share with us, contact us at [email protected]
UPDATE: Exposed: Pictures of creepy Canadian scammer and fake landlord Ryan Fedoruk!