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Toronto man faces charges in alleged retail payment card fraud

Toronto police did not clarify which locations of The Home Depot were targeted in an alleged payment card fraud carried out in August and September 2013.


A Toronto man is facing four charges after taking more than $395,000 worth of goods from various GTA retailers, police say.

Nao Khou, 51, allegedly scammed financial institutions by inflating credit card accounts by depositing fake cheques, said Detective Ian Nichol of the Financial Crimes Unit. These actions were allegedly committed over a 30-day period between August and September 2013, he said.

"Fraudulent cheques were being uttered at Home Depots, there's over 200 that we're aware of," Detective Nichol told a news conference. "You can artificially boost most accounts through the depositing of forged cheques to temporarily show a balance and you have a window of opportunity in some cases to go out and spend that."

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Police said it was The Home Depot who initially caught on to the thefts before the Financial Crimes Unit was called in.

After a thorough investigation, police executed a search warrant at the accused's home in west Toronto on Sept. 26, where they recovered stolen items worth approximately $55,000, they said.

Det. Nichol said there was likely more items that weren't recovered in time.

"We believe that this property represents a small portion of the total amount of property that was fraudulently obtained and ultimately resold," he said.

Included in the seizure were shower heads, faucets, drill sets and door lock assemblies, along with various other appliances, police said.

On Sept. 30, Mr. Khou turned himself in to police.

An unidentified woman is also being sought after as the co-conspirator, as well as "up to three other members," Det. Nichol said.

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Police believe there are more than five other electronic retail stores who may have also been victimized by these crimes, and they're asking for any potential surveillance video to be turned in.

Mr. Khou is facing charges of three counts of fraud over $5,000, and one count of possession obtained by crime over $5,000, police said.

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