A husband and wife have been arrested for allegedly defrauding several of the top financial services companies of more than $1 million.
Toronto Police said the husband purchased several life insurance policies, worth more than $3.5 million, between 2006-2008, identifying the beneficiary as his wife.
Police said the couple travelled to Iran in 2008, where the husband was reported dying of a heart attack. An investigation ensued after his death could not be confirmed by the companies which include London Life Insurance Company; Great-West Life Assurance; Desjardin Financial Security Life Assurance Company; and State Farm International Life Insurance Company.
In 2009, while the investigation was underway, the wife began a civil litigation against the companies, claiming $10 million in damages. She received a payout of more than $1 million less than a year later. In November 2010, the wife purchased a home in California worth $420,000 using the payout.
Meanwhile, during this time, police say the husband entered the U.S. via Los Angeles International Airport and traveled to Rome using a Canadian passport, which was meant to be returned to the Canadian Consulate in Iran, following his apparent death.
When police discovered the husband was alive and living in California, an extradition process was launched.
Alireza Shojaei, 45, and his wife, Koukab Shojaei, 41, both face several charges including four counts of fraud over $5,000. Koukab is also charged with uttering a forged document. They pleaded guilty to the charges.
Police believe there may be more victims.