Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Two Men Charged in Ontario iPhone Marketplace Scam: iPhone boxes filled with rice sold on Facebook

Two Ontario men are facing multiple charges following a Facebook Marketplace scam where buyers were duped into purchasing boxes purported to contain iPhones, which instead held rice or sand, Toronto Police revealed today.

The fraudulent scheme, initiated in 2021, involved posting ads on Facebook Marketplace for Apple iPhones at attractive prices. However, upon delivery, the buyers received either fake phones or boxes filled with rice or sand. The scam artists also furnished counterfeit receipts to assert the authenticity of the phones.

The scam led to several violent encounters when the buyers, realizing they had been deceived, were physically attacked and robbed of their cash by the fraudsters. The assailants, identified as Jovane Martin, 25, from Brampton, and Jeremiah Stoute, 25, from Mississauga, reportedly used a white Honda Civic as their getaway vehicle.

On April 19, law enforcement conducted three search warrants across Toronto and Peel Region, seizing cash, fake phone boxes, and additional evidence linked to the fraudulent operations.

Jovane Martin faces charges including conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, possession of proceeds of crime over $5,000, multiple counts of fraud under $5,000, robbery, and disguise with intent. Jeremiah Stoute has been charged similarly, with additional allegations of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

The investigation is ongoing as police continue to look into the extent of the fraud and its impact on victims in the Toronto area.

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