Calgarians out cash after money transfer business goes kaput
Published Tuesday, December 22, 2015 6:37PM MST Last Updated Tuesday, December 22, 2015 6:50PM MST
A local money transfer business is under investigation after dozens of people came forward claiming that their money disappeared along with the company’s owner.
Police say at least 70 people tried to transfer money to the Philippines through SR Cash Remit at The Marlborough Mall in late November and early December.
The families were counting on the cash to cover medical bills, education costs and daily expenses but the money was never received.
The business owner is already facing three fraud charges from transactions in July but she failed to show up to a court date last week and now there's a warrant out for her arrest.
Investigators say more charges are likely pending and that there is a good chance the owner of the business has gone to the Philippines.
CTV News spoke with six victims who all told a similar story. They said they had used SR Cash Remit for at least a year to send money to the Philippines and some estimated they'd done more than 20 transfers without any trouble.
All were told the money would take up to three days to transfer compared with the usual few hours.
For a couple of days, some got messages apologizing and saying it would all be okay and then the money and the owner, Marisyel Pilande, disappeared.
Police are still trying to put a value on the loss, but it appears that the 73 known victims are now out more than $100,000.
"Generally the amounts are under $5000. They range from about $200 up to $15,000 and it is a lot of money. What is concerning is these victims are hardworking people,” said CPS Detective Matt Baker.
"She knows how we work for that money and then the thing is she just disappears and she did not even say anything about what happened," said Lynda, one of the victims.
Police say there are likely more victims out there and they want those people to come forward.
(With files from Bill Macfarlane)