After working a difficult fraud case for months, RCMP Cst. Jennifer Brady got the break she needed when the suspect did something unexpected.
He bought shoes and made food-delivery orders," says Brady, a member of the RCMP Financial Crimes Unit in Surrey, B.C.
She says those purchases were among several small acquisitions that led to the discovery of evidence linking him to a multi-jurisdictional scheme involving $458,000 in fraudulent credit card transactions, his arrest and his ultimate confession.
At the time, we didn't know how large the case would become," says Brady.
Brady received a report of credit card fraud from one of Canada's major banks in August 2017.
As Brady investigated, she found additional fraudulent credit card transactions in Richmond and Surrey, B.C., that were made using multiple stolen credit cards, usually to buy high-end electronics or appliances.
Brady eventually identified a suspect who worked as an insurance agent.
In British Columbia, automobiles are insured by coverage provided by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia — a provincial Crown corporation.
The product can be purchased from insurance agents, and Brady learned all the policies tied to the fraudulent transactions were issued by the same insurance agent. When a customer bought auto insurance from him, he would keep a copy of the credit card information and then sell those numbers to a third party.
Despite spending countless hours on the case, comparing hundreds of compromised credit card numbers with the agent number, Brady was still nowhere near making an arrest.
The delay in receiving the file as well as my inability to link the suspect to the purchases of appliances was not enough evidence to tie the suspects to the frauds and get into his residence," she says.
Eventually, work on the case slowed and suspicious transactions declined.
However, a break occurred in 2018 when an insurance customer complained to police about the suspect.
There were fraudulent purchases made on the client's credit card, and they believed the suspect had taken their information," says Brady, who then went back to the bank.
She told bank officials that the suspect was working at another insurance company and asked if they had seen any similar patterns of compromised cards.
The bank confirmed it did and some of the purchases were for shoes and food-delivery orders, which investigators tied directly to the suspect and his residence.
He slipped and used his contact information for picking up shoes from the store . . . but exchanged them for other pairs. In doing so, the new pairs of shoes were shipped to his residence," says Brady, who received an Officer in Charge award in December 2020 in recognition of her investigative efforts.
That gave police enough ammunition to write and have warrants approved to search the suspect's home on July 8, 2019.
We had the small stuff but we needed to tie into the big stuff," says Cst. Parbhdeep Brar, who wrote the warrants and later conducted the interviews hours after the suspect's arrest that same day.
Brar says the interview was an opportunity for the suspect to hear what police knew, and for him to explain things.
And he did that pretty well, but he couldn't explain the Post-it note we found in his pocket," says Brar.
On that note was a credit card number. It was not his own and he was unable to explain why he had it.
I kept asking him and kept listening, but I could tell he was getting nervous," says Brar.
On April 1, 2020, Gagandeep Dhillon, was charged with multiple fraud-related offences and pleaded guilty on Feb. 19, 2021.
On May, 28, 2021, Dhillon received a conditional sentence of two years less a day, to be served in the community, and a period of probation.