Feeds

ID theft hits home in Canada

Property scams create legal chaos

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Identity thieves posed as home owners in order to sell the rental property of an elderly Canadian immigrant.

Paul Reviczky, 89, who fled Hungary for Canada in 1957 in order to escape communism, has become the latest in a string of victims of property title fraud in Canada, the Toronto Star reports.

Reviczky's bungalow in the North York area was sold without his knowledge, leaving him hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket.

Reviczky is unable to recover his property because local laws favour purchasers over victims of fraud. The crime has left the property in a state of legal limbo with the purchaser unable to live there and Reviczky legally unable to even to enter the premises. "I was shocked to learn that this could be the law in Canada," Reviczky told the Toronto Star. "I fled Hungary to escape lawlessness like this and now my sense of security in Canada is gone."

Ontario minister of government services Gerry Phillips pledged to change the land registry system in order to guard against title fraud.

Reviczky purchased the bungalow for C$67,500 in 1980. The retired tobacco farmer used rental income from the property to pay for the education of relatives back in Hungary. Reviczky, whose wife died in February 2005, lives in a nearby house. He only learned that the bungalow had been sold second hand when a local estate agent congratulated him a month after the sale had been completed.

Investigators reckon that con-men forged the power of attorney necessary to complete the sale in the name of fictitious grandson of Reviczky. Posing as Aaron Paul Reviczky, a fraudster sold the property for C$450,000 back in May. Former tenants of the property are the most likely perpetrators of the scam, police reckon. The purchaser, Pegman Meleknia, took out a mortgage of C$337,500 to complete the sale.

Reviczky, who hasn't seen a cent of the proceeds, is more interested in recovering his home than the profits from its sale. However, Ontario law recognises a purchase as valid in cases, like this, where a purchaser is not in on a scam.

The case has several local precedents. Local widow Susan Lawrence faces the loss of a home she's lived in for 30 years after crooks used publically available information to pose as her and sell her home out from under her feet.

In another case, an actress lost her home to ID thieves who sold her property to an accomplice, who disappeared after securing a bogus $250,000 mortgage in her name. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.