Richmond RCMP Economic Crime Unit (ECU) began their investigation in October 2020. Over several months, Richmond ECU investigators collected evidence of alleged frauds being committed by four individuals, in multiple jurisdictions, including Richmond, Vancouver, Surrey, Langley, Cranbrook, Kamloops, Kelowna and Regina.
The investigation resulted in multiple search warrants being executed at locations allegedly connected to the fraud ring in Richmond and Vancouver.
I am extremely proud of the hard work and dedication the investigators from our Economic Crime Unit have demonstrated throughout the course of this investigation. I also want to thank all of the units from within Richmond Detachment as well as the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team who assisted our Economic Crime Unit at various times throughout the investigation, says Inspector Michael Cohee, Officer-in-charge of Richmond RCMP Operations Support. The identification and subsequent charges against this group has resulted in a significant disruption of a prolific fraud, identity theft and property crime network operating in BC.
The Economic Crime Unit is part of the larger Richmond RCMP Organized Crime Unit, which is comprised of ECU, Drugs, Organized Crime Project Team and Criminal Intelligence.
The BC Prosecution Service has approved a total of 24 charges. The charges include fraud, forgery, possession of property obtained by crime and unauthorized possession of a firearm against one of the accused. Charged are:
Christopher Birkbeck of Surrey, BC
Michael Ridley of Ontario
Richard Yeltatzie of Richmond, BC
Ayron Borovic of Vancouver, BC
Richard Yeltatzie has also been charged with eight criminal code charges, including fraud, on another Richmond ECU file. In February 2020 Richmond Economic Crime Unit conducted an investigation where a residence was allegedly sold by fraudulent means unbeknownst to the homeowner. In this case, the BC Prosecution Service has approved eight charges against Richard Yeltatzie and three against a Kieran Yeltatzie.