Man accused of turning luxury rental homes into illegal rooming houses faces more charges

York regional police say a man accused of renting luxury homes in the Markham and Richmond Hill areas using phony I.D. and then turning them into illegal rooming houses is facing additional charges in an ongoing fraud probe.

Arif Adnan Syed , 39, of Markham, has been at the centre of police, and CityNews investigations, after being accused of altering homes he rented with fake I.D. and subleasing them as rooming houses.

Police began their investigation into the allegations in April 2020 and initially charged Syed and a Mississauga woman with fraud and uttering forged documents.

CityNews had been tracking Syed for several months as well and confronted him about the allegations, which he denied. (see video below).

Police allege the suspects “altered the interiors of the homes to allow multiple tenants and subleased the homes as rooming houses. In some cases, more than 20 people were residing in the homes and paying rent to the suspects. The homeowners did not receive any rental payments and had not been unable to evict the suspects or the occupants due to COVID-19 restrictions.”

The investigation did not end with the first set of charges.

Police say they received information that Syed “continued to rent luxury houses in York Region by showing fraudulent identification to the owners, only to convert the homes into  subleased rental spaces for numerous people.”

On Tuesday, October 5, 2021, Syed was once again arrested and charged with three counts each of fraud over $5,000, making false statements in writing, uttering forged documents and possession of property obtained by crime.

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