Police in Edmonton have made one arrest and are warning the public about a scam that involves fraudulent Connor McDavid autographs.
Chandra Vinesh Singh, 23, is charged with two counts of possession of a forged document, fraud over $5,000, fraud under $5,000 and false pretense. Singh is also known to go by “Vinesh Singh” or “Vinny.”
In April of 2018, it was reported that Singh contacted several people via Facebook falsely claiming he was employed by either the Edmonton Oilers Entertainment Group or Pro Am Sports and was selling autographed McDavid jerseys. Investigators believe Singh successfully sold two fraudulently autographed jerseys to an Edmonton area resident for $1,400.
Several months later, in February 2019, it was reported that Singh proposed an “investment opportunity” to an individual via Facebook, which again involved Oilers jerseys that Singh claimed were signed by McDavid. Singh also allegedly used fraudulent documents to support his claims and one person was allegedly defrauded $23,000.
The EPS has confirmed through the Edmonton Oilers Entertainment Group and Pro Am Sports that the autographs on the jerseys sold in April of 2018 were not authentic. “Connor McDavid himself did confirm through the Oilers organization that [the signature] is not his,” said Const. Derek Burns with Edmonton Police Services. “People either trusted or decided this sounded like a good opportunity and they went for it.”
“We thank the Edmonton Police Service for their diligence on this matter,” said OEG Senior Vice President Corporate Communications & Government Relations Tim Shipton. “We are fortunate to have fans who support the team through the purchase of memorabilia, but this is a good reminder for our fans to always go to trusted sources.”
So far, five people have come forward who may have been victims. Given the similarity of the alleged misconduct in these events, and the timeframe across which they occurred, the Edmonton Police Service believes that there are likely additional victims. They’re asking anyone with information to contact them at 780-423-4567. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.tipsubmit.com/start.htm.