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Readers expose trail of scams by fake Canadian landlord

RYAN Fedoruk, the Canadian fake landlord at the center of the latest apartment subleasing scam in Shanghai, has allegedly been cheating expats in other Chinese cities since 2003, victims said.

Fedoruk has made news after 60-plus expat tenants vowed to take legal action against him recently after he disappeared from the city with their rental monies.

More victims who were informed of the Shanghai case have written to Shanghai Daily, saying that they were cheated by the Canadian in the city of Zhuhai, in southern China's Guangdong Province and also in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang Province.
"Ryan and his scam in Shanghai now appear in the headline news in the expat community in Zhuhai as many people have realized he was the guy owning them money too," said Michael Yin, a Zhuhai resident.

"He used to own a bar in Zhuhai in 2008 but the bar's quite a failure. Ryan then tried to borrow money from all of his friends to maintain the bar's operation but he never returned the money," said Yin.

Another Zhuhai victim, who asked not to be named, said the Canadian used various lies to cheat money from his friends.

"He told several people on several separate occasions that he had testicular cancer and needed to borrow money for emergency surgery ... for others it was heart surgery he needed," the victim wrote in a letter.

"He owes a load of money to people in Zhuhai too ... including my bro. He also owes some 10,000 yuan to the local fireworks supplier - the list goes on," said the victim.

Yin told Shanghai Daily that many expat victims didn't report Fedoruk to the police after he had disappeared from Zhuhai two years ago, because they trusted him and hadn't obtained written proof of the loans.

Yin said he and a batch of other victims are searching for Fedoruk across Zhuhai City after he reportedly showed up last week in the Jiuzhou Port, where he might have taken a ferry to Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, Andrew Butler, an Irish national, told Shanghai Daily that Fedoruk and his Chinese girlfriend worked in Harbin from 2003 to 2006 to cheat money from foreigners by promising to have their business visas "fixed."

Butler said the "couple" charged him 2,000 yuan for the visa services but after taking the money, the two offered nothing in return.

Butler believed Fedoruk might flee to Harbin to seek support and shelter from his girlfriend.

In Shanghai Fedoruk, 40, a former part-time English teacher, acted as a second-hand landlord who rented about 30 apartments from owners in the city and sublet them to over 80 tenants, mostly foreigners, throughout 2011, victims said.

Allegedly owing 340,000 yuan to his landlords and tenants, Fedoruk refused to pay the money and instead "disappeared" from the city on December 24, leaving many of his tenants facing evictions from apartment owners.

In Shanghai, about 42 out of the 60-plus victims have written statements about their experiences, and plan to hand the statements to police tomorrow, said Eva Gao, a lawyer who is helping the victims.


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