Shanghai police have begun investigating the case of Ryan Fedoruk, the Canadian scammer and fake landlord who sublet 30 apartments to 80 tenants before fleeing with RMB300,000, after Eva Gao, the local lawyer who is providing victims with legal aid, handed over statements by 45 people who say they have been swindled by Fedoruk. Shanghai PSB’s economic crime investigation department said it would investigate the whereabouts of the man after they were done looking through the statements. Xu Chi of Shanghai Daily reports:
Victims accused Fedoruk of contract fraud as they provided evidence showing they had signed contracts, some so informal they were handwritten, to agree on the date for Fedoruk to return deposits, but he never returned the money.
“The suspect may face three to five years behind bars in China and then being deported to his own country after the sentence, if he is confirmed by police to be involved in the 340,000 yuan fraud as victims reported,” said local lawyer Wu Dong.
Some victims said they are excited to hear that the police finally are taking action, as they have tried to report to police stations but were told the case couldn’t be established due to lack of evidence, among other reasons.
“I’m happy to see the police probing the case and I hope they can catch him soon,” said one of the victims, an American-born Chinese who identified himself as Peter.
Another victim, an exchange student who identified himself as “Manuel,” said he looked forward to the police investigation’s result but doubted whether Fedoruk could return the money even if he was caught.
“As far as I know, Fedoruk was living an extravagant life with the deposit money the tenants have paid him,” said Manuel. “He was so fat that he used to take a cab wherever he went, and he spent a lot money on eating or dating girls in Shanghai.”
According to an Irish businessman who reached out to Shanghaiist, Ryan Fedoruk has been cheating other China expats from as early as 2003:
I am an Irish national who has been visiting and conducting business in China since 2001. I have had a similar experience with Ryan Fedoruk and a Chinese female associate of his from Harbin. My experience and knowledge of Ryan Fedoruk and his friend ‘Lisa” are from the period 2003 – 2006.
My experience were documented by me at the time and reported to Canadian authorities during 2006.
Ryan Fedoruk and his Chinese associate arranged marriages and also fraudulently obtained business visas for Harbin friends of Lisa’s in the period up to 2004. Her English name is Lisa (I believe they entered into a marriage of convenience to obtain a Canadian passport for her)
I will locate my documentation as soon as possible and forward it to you.
In the meantime, I believe that Ryan Fedoruk will look to his association with Lisa and her network of black-market friends and hoodlums in Harbin for support and assistance. I believe Lisa’s brother is a high ranking policeman and another is a senior pilot for Hainan or Southern Airways. I strongly suspect that the Harbin vicinity is the only remaining place in China where he can leverage support and where he thinks he can get help to leave China.
Ryan also has a friend there who is most likely totally unaware of his scamming or present troubles. [Name redacted] is a US citizen with a furniture manufacturing and export business in Harbin. Ryan scarpered to his old friends in Harbin when he has taken cover in the past.
He’s also apparently been cheating China expats as far south as Zhuhai, where he used to own a (failed) bar:
More victims who were informed of the Shanghai case have written to Shanghai Daily, saying that they were cheated by the Canadian in the city of Zhuhai, in southern China’s Guangdong Province and also in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang Province.
“Ryan and his scam in Shanghai now appear in the headline news in the expat community in Zhuhai as many people have realized he was the guy owning them money too,” said Michael Yin, a Zhuhai resident.
“He used to own a bar in Zhuhai in 2008 but the bar’s quite a failure. Ryan then tried to borrow money from all of his friends to maintain the bar’s operation but he never returned the money,” said Yin.
Another Zhuhai victim, who asked not to be named, said the Canadian used various lies to cheat money from his friends.
“He told several people on several separate occasions that he had testicular cancer and needed to borrow money for emergency surgery … for others it was heart surgery he needed,” the victim wrote in a letter.
“He owes a load of money to people in Zhuhai too … including my bro. He also owes some 10,000 yuan to the local fireworks supplier – the list goes on,” said the victim.
Follow the Ryan Fedoruk case here