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January 11, 2012

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Victims of fake landlord surface elsewhere with new allegations

RYAN Fedoruk, the Canadian fake landlord who disappeared from Shanghai after allegedly cheating 60-plus expat tenants in an apartment subleasing scandal, has scammed people in other Chinese cities by playing different tricks since 2003, victims said.

More victims who were informed of the Shanghai case wrote to Shanghai Daily, saying that they have been cheated by the Canadian in the city of Zhuhai in southern China's Guangdong Province, and in the northern city of Harbin in 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's the guy owing 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 to weave different lies to cheat money out of 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'

"He owes a load of money to people in Zhuhai too ... including my brother. He also owes some 10,000 yuan (US$1,584) to the local fireworks supplier - the list goes on," said the victim.

Yin said he and a batch of other victims are searching for Fedoruk across Zhuhai as he was reported to have shown up last week in the Jiuzhou Port, where he might take the ferry to Hong Kong.

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

Butler said the Canadian and his Chinese girlfriend charged him 2,000 yuan for the visa services but after taking the money, the "couple" offered nothing.

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

Allegedly owing 340,000 yuan to his landlords and tenants, Fedoruk "disappeared" from the city last month, leaving many of his tenants facing evictions from apartment owners.

In Shanghai, about 42 of the 60-plus victims have written statements about their experience, and Eva Gao, a lawyer who is helping the victims, plans to hand the evidence over to the police this morning.


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