Ontario man charged in dead exotic animal insurance fraud investigation

Ontario man charged in dead exotic animal insurance fraud investigation

An Ontario man has been charged after police say he falsely claimed that his exotic animals were no longer viable for taxidermy due to a refrigeration failure in order to collect insurance payments.

Durham Regional Police Service investigators were contacted by an insurance company on Sept. 11, 2023, regarding multiple claims they believed to be fraudulently filed by Artistry in Motion Taxidermy.

They said that the owner of the business purchased exotic animals, like tigers, lions, and monkeys, after they died of natural causes, for art pieces.

The first claim was filed in May 2022. In it, the proprietor claimed that he lost $500,000 worth of dead exotic animals due to a weather-related refrigeration system failure.

More than a year later, in June of 2023, the owner made a second claim for another refrigeration system failure, which he said resulted in a financial loss of over $700,000 of animals.

An investigation revealed the suspect fraudulently produced invoices, created fictitious zoos and safaris, and inflated the value of the deceased animals.

Cyril Dsouza, 65, of Uxbridge, Ont., is facing two charges of fraud over $5,000 and two charges for forging documents. He was released on bail.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Durham police’s Financial Crimes Unit at 1-888-579-1520, ext. 5729, or Crime Stoppers anonymously.

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