Emmanuel Osaseri, the same man who has recently been charged in the Victoria area for practicing as a dental hygienist without credentials, may also be linked to a fashion show scam.
Osaseri allegedly attempted to fraudulently raise funds for a fashion show in Prince Rupert after being fired from the Greenwoods Dental Centre in September, where he allegedly worked for two weeks under false certification.
Osaseri seemingly used a poorly-designed fundraising proposal by “Emmanuel Osaseri in collaboration with Transition Society and M’Akola Housing” in an attempt to raise funds for a fashion show to ostensibly benefit Transition House. It touted sponsors such as “Port Authorities” and “Northern Savings Credit Union” and an extensive list of fashion-related local businesses as participants.
North Coast Transitions Society (NCTS) Program Manager Grainne Barthe said when Osaseri solicited her group for a grant, the NCTS sensed a scam and put up a Facebook post to alert people.
“It has come to our attention that someone is going around soliciting large amounts of money and organizing a fundraiser for the Transition House. We have NOTHING to do with this and feel very strongly it is a scam,” read an NCTS social media post on Nov. 9.
Barthe said online and in-person encounters with Osaseri were bizarre. Following the NCTS post, she said Osaseri delivered an unofficial “demand letter.” The letter said the online post was defamatory, and demanded an official apology or the organization would face litigation of $100,000.
“He first came to our attention because people had called us from businesses around town asking us if we had anything to do with him. And I was, like, ‘no, I have no idea who this is.’ And then I kind of forgot about him,” she said.
“Then a couple of weeks went by and someone else brought him up and said they reported him to the police [because] he has been going around trying to solicit money to organize a fundraiser for the Transition House. Apparently, they were going to do a fashion show or something. Because we heard about it from multiple people, we put this post out because, you know, it’s a nonprofit. It’s hard enough to get donations.”
Prince Rupert RCMP said they received reports about the alleged scam and a file remains open under investigation.
Paul Lagace, chair of the Prince Rupert Steering Committee on Aboriginal Homelessness board, said the committee provides grants for various organizations, but when Osaseri’s request was brought up at a meeting, there were numerous red flags.
“One of our members said this person had our organization’s name on this [proposal], it’s a complete fraud, we would never OK this,” Legace said.
Unrelated to the alleged fashion show scam, Osaseri was charged on Jan. 10 for impersonation with intent to gain advantage and fraud under $5,000 by posing as a dental hygienist.
He is currently wanted across B.C. by Saanich Police, who say they have reason to believe he has contravened his release conditions.
By Seth Forward, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter