Customers lose money, Filipino owner of Canada remit biz at large

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    A money transfer business in Calgary, Alberta, Canada is under investigation and a warrant of arrest has been ordered for its Filipino owner after 76 people claimed their money disappeared and their recipients never got them.

    SR Cash Remit, located in Marlborough Mall in Calgary closed unexpectedly because of “financial issues,” leaving many customers, most of whom are Filipinos, out hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

    Some customers reported that they had used SR Cash Remit to send money to Philippines for at least a year without any problems, with the money transfer process usually just taking a few hours. Recently, however, they were told it would take up to three days to transfer.

    Police estimated the loss to customers to be more than $100,000 and according to one of the investigators, the amounts lost range from about $200 up to $15,000. Police said it’s unlikely that the victims will recover any of their losses even if the case goes through civil remedy.

    Investigators are now looking for the company’s owner, 37-year-old Marisyel Pilande.  Authorities were first alerted to Pilande and the company while investigating an unrelated fraud case earlier this year.

    Police allege Pilande owed money to another agent and submitted checks in July knowing they would not be honored. She was charged December 2 with three counts of obtaining more than $5,000 under false pretenses, according to court documents.

    She was released on bail and due in court December 16 but failed to show up. A warrant has been issued for her arrest.

    The money transfer business was taken over by new owners on December 4, but there is no evidence to suggest they have any involvement or connection with the alleged frauds,

    Authorities urges anyone who has been victimized or who has information about the case to contact police. (inq)

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