An elderly couple from Clarington is facing numerous charges after they aided in a lottery fraud scheme targeting elderly victims across Canada.

Durham Regional Police said the victims received a telephone call where the caller claimed they had won cash and a vehicle in the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes. The victims were instructed to send money to the couple before the winnings could be released. Eleven victims across Canada have been identified at this point.

The investigation began in the winter of 2020, and police executed a search warrant at a home in Courtice last week. The investigation has determined the suspects have been actively participating in the scheme since early 2018. Investigators want to ensure there are no other victims.

John PERK, age 78, and Pharolyn PERK, age 75, both of Tooley Road in Courtice, are charged with: Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offense; Participation/Contributing to a Criminal Organization; Fraud Over $5,000 x2; Fraud Under $5,000 x3; Possession of Proceeds of Crime Over $5,000; and Possession of Proceeds of Crime Under $5,000. John PERK is additionally charged with Fraud Over $5,000 x2 and Utter Forged Document x2. They were released on an Undertaking.
Anyone with new information about this investigation is asked to contact D/Cst. Franssen of the Major Crime Fraud Unit at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5356.

In Canada, it is illegal for a lottery organization to charge a fee before the prize can be claimed. Lottery winnings in Canada are tax-free; lottery winnings in the U.S.A. are taxed. Generally, you must be a resident of the province/state to which the lottery is registered to claim winnings i.e. a resident of Ontario cannot claim a lottery-based in another province or U.S.A. state unless that lottery is licensed in the Province of Ontario.

Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca and tipsters may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward.