Friend Of Fontana Facing Fraud Charge

A boyhood friend and former business partner of London Mayor Joe Fontana has been arrested and charged for allegedly cheating investors out of over $21-million.

On Wednesday, the Kitchener RCMP charged Vincent Ciccone, 64, and Karen Rose Thomson-Ciccone, 60, with fraud over $5,000. The couple is set to appear at the Waterloo Region Courthouse in Kitchener on Wednesday.

Ciccone was the founder of Trinity Global Support Foundation, an organization with ties to Fontana that lost its charitable status in 2013. Ciccone previously stepped down from Trinity Global. The charity was once chaired by Fontana, and his son Ugo was listed as the charity’s president.

The charges laid on Wednesday relate to allegations that spurred from an RCMP investigation launched in 2010. The RCMP says from 2006 to 2010 the Ciccone Group of Companies enticed 160 people to invest money in investments it alleges were used to re-direct money to other “non-interest paying schemes.”

Police accuse the Ciccones of leading investors to believe they could recieve 20 to 30 per cent returns on their investments. The money was supposed to be invested in day-trading, and development or resort properties.

“The RCMP is committed to protecting Canadians from fraudulent investments that serve to undermine the integrity of Canada’s financial systems.” states Inspector Todd Gilmore, officer in charge of Kitchener RCMP Detachment. “Maintaining Canada’s economic integrity is a priority for the RCMP and we will continue to work diligently to bring these criminals to justice.”

Kitchener RCMP officers will speak about the charges at a 12pm news conference. The Mounties are asking anyone with information on the Ciccone Group of Companies or other crimes to call the Ontario RCMP or Crimestoppers.

***With files from Lisa Brandt