23 July 2013
Vaughan printer charged in $8 million scam
TORONTO—Najib-Mohamed Jamal, owner of Prodigy Graphics in Vaughan, has been arrested and charged in connection with an elaborate loan-fraud and money-laundering scheme in the Greater Toronto Area, PrintCAN has confirmed.

Jamal is one of 25 individuals arrested in the case which involved shell companies from a variety of industries that were established to cheat banks and other lenders out of $8 million worth of loans. According to Toronto police, the operation ran between March 2011 and October 2012.

A Twitter update from Proview Print Group, one of the shell companies
A Tweet from one of the shell companies
 
Two of the shell companies were called Insignia Print Group and Proview Print Group. The Vaughan address listed for both is 731 Millway Avenue, which is also the address of trade printer Prodigy Graphics. On a Linkedin profile, the president of Proview is listed as Harinderpal Purwal, which police confirm as a fake identity.

Jamal said he could not comment on the case. He is charged with Fraud Over $5000, Attempted Fraud Over $5000, Laundering Proceeds of Crime, Possession of Proceeds of Crime, and Conspiracy to Commit Indictable Offense. Criminal defence lawyer Richard Goldman, Jamal's counsel, told PrintCAN he doesn't know how the accused are connected and that Jamal will fight the charges. "There is no basis upon which this guy is anything less than completely innocent," Goldman said.

According to Gordon McCauley, Prodigy Graphics controller, Jamal is still at the head of Prodigy and the company is conducting business as usual. He added the company could not comment further on an ongoing investigation.

Here is how the scheme is said to have worked. Police say the fraudsters would contact a bank, for example, present the shell companies as real organizations using false documentation and records, and then apply for loans, sometimes impersonating legitimate local accountants.

"As part of the loan application, a commercial account manager has to go out to where these shell companies are said to exist, and verify that what they've said on paper is correct," explained Toronto police Det.-Const. Sarath Thayalan.

In some cases, other companies' assets were presented as belonging to a shell company. Allegedly, some business owners did not know their operations were being used while others were in on it. "The allegations being that a company would allow their equipment and their building to be represented as the shell company so that the account manager could be fooled," said Thayalan.

Aside from business fronts and fake documents, fake Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter  profiles can be found online.

Any organizations that have received applications or documents from the fraudulent companies are encouraged to contact police at 416-808-4270 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477). For names of the accused and the other shell companies, download this Toronto police document.
— Jef Catapang
Comments:
12. Long Time Client says:
8 January 2014 at 3:47 PM
I believe in innocent until proven guilty. I have worked with Najib for over 20 years and consider him to be of the highest character. I may be wrong, but if in fact he is found innocent or that the charges dropped it would be only fair that you make his innocence the number one story of 2014
11. Chico says:
15 August 2013 at 10:44 PM
The stolen ink scam happened in 1994-95, not in 2008.
10. Litho Guy says:
31 July 2013 at 8:56 AM
Funny how some people have zero regard for their own reputation or the reputation of anyone that works with them. Reputation is everything, takes a lifetime to build, and 30 seconds to destroy.
9. Gothwilling says:
26 July 2013 at 1:28 PM
The hypocricy of some people is just staggering! How can you propose to follow a faith, any faith, and pull this stuff?
8. Printcan Web Editor says:
25 July 2013 at 10:46 AM
Hi all, just a note to say that we appreciate your comments and welcome the conversation. However, please be aware that we do moderate comments and have a responsibility to edit or not publish libelous statements.
7. Started In A Tradeshop says:
25 July 2013 at 9:39 AM
The previous owner Andy Patel was involved with the stolen ink from Hostmann-Steinberg.He went under the radar after 2008. Nobody could compete with these guys because of the hot ink he was using. Who knows how many honest tradeshops and commercial printers were forced into closure.
6. Rick says:
25 July 2013 at 8:51 AM
TK is spot on. I worked for a company that also scammed the provincial gouv + federal bank. All financial entities have quotas to attain. No matter what, bad loans are part of the equation. Mostof the time bankers are accomplices to the game. Difference is, no banker does jail time....
5. John Burke says:
24 July 2013 at 4:20 PM
Prodigy Graphics was also involved in a stolen ink case back in 2008. These guys should be stopped. They are making a mockery of our industry and the justice system
4. Jayz says:
24 July 2013 at 3:43 PM
Just greedy.
3. Tk says:
24 July 2013 at 12:26 PM
This can't happen without the bankers in it. Approving loans to weeks old, or months old companies is stupid. Most bank loan managers will tell you how to "prepare" the application for approval. I think this comes to light when the banker didn't get his "fair" cut.
2. Printerguy says:
24 July 2013 at 9:55 AM
Guess the rest of us have been doing it wrong all these years. No wonder these (and others) can give such cheap pricing - print is just a game to them.
1. Lithos says:
24 July 2013 at 8:09 AM
not enough profit in print i guess
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