Niagara Falls couple charged in connection to real estate fraud investigation


Published May 12, 2022 at 8:26 am

A couple from Niagara Falls have been arrested and charged with fraud in connection to a real estate scam that cost a Lincoln homeowner $35,000.

According to Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS), the investigation was launched in January 2022 when officers from the Grimsby detachment responded to a fraud complaint in Lincoln.

A subsequent investigation found that in November 2021, the owner of a rural property in Lincoln, near Fly Road and Campden Road, was approached by a couple who claimed to be interested in buying the property.

In the weeks that followed, police said that the homeowner and the couple agreed on a purchase price of $5.6 million and drew up contracts through real estate agents and legal counsel.

The homeowner eventually moved from the home in anticipation of the deal closing but after repeated delays and more detailed reviews of the sale’s paperwork, it was found that the couple had used fraudulent documents.

The deal was cancelled as a result, but not before the homeowner had spent $35,000 in moving and legal fees.

Detectives from the NRPS Central Fraud Unit were able to identify the suspect man and woman and connected the man to similar fraud complaints in the Niagara Region.

In April, officers arrested 55-year-old Maria Pierce of Niagara Falls. She is charged with:

  • Fraud over $5000
  • False Pretence

Earlier this month, on May 6, police arrested 55-year-old Anthony Derek Douglas Pierce, also of Niagara Falls. He is charged with:

  • Fraud over $5000 (5 Counts)
  • False Pretence (3 Counts)

Anthony Pierce, police found, was also a suspect in an attempted fraudulent Grimsby condo purchase in May 2021, as well as a storage unit scam in St. Catharines in February 2021.

Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact detectives by calling 905-688-4111, extension 1009245.

Members of the public who wish to provide information anonymously can contact Crime Stoppers of Niagara online or by calling 1-800-222-8477. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards to persons who contact the program with information which leads to an arrest.

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