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TORONTO: Vivian Wong, Leo Zheng and Thomas Ma lost money in condo development deal

Police investigating after condo deal falls apart

Toronto police confirm they are investigating a number of complaints from prospective buyers in the condo development who say they have lost money.

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Vivian Wong, Leo Zheng and Thomas Ma are among the prospective buyers who say they lost money in a condo development deal that fell apart.  Toronto police are investigating.

TARA DESCHAMPS / TORONTO STAR Order this photo

Vivian Wong, Leo Zheng and Thomas Ma are among the prospective buyers who say they lost money in a condo development deal that fell apart. Toronto police are investigating.

By:  Staff Reporter, Published on Fri Aug 22 2014

When a group of retail and condo buyers purchased units in an up-and-coming Yonge and Finch building also featuring a hotel, they envisioned packing up their current homes and moving into new ones where they would raise families, grow old and make memories together.

Instead, they say they’ve been subjected to almost nine months of anguish as they fret over what happened to the condos they were expecting and the millions they collectively spent on units at 5220 Yonge St.

Toronto police confirm they are investigating a number of complaints from prospective buyers in the condo development who say they have lost money.

While police couldn’t say how many complaints they have received, Det. Const. Seng Sonemanivong of 32 division’s anti-fraud unit says, “There are numerous victims and we are getting more and more every day.”

Police are asking any other people who have lost money to come forward and help with the “active investigation” into the property.

One prospective buyer, Thomas Ma, says he and his wife have desperately been trying to contact developer Yo Sup (Joseph) Lee of Centrium at North York since January, when Lee sent buyers a letter saying plans for the building had fallen through and down payments would be returned.

They visited the lot where the building was to be constructed and found a few cinder blocks and an old city sign advertising Lee’s development proposal for a 14-storey, 150-hotel suite building and a 30-storey, 258-unit residential tower featuring some commercial space.

Ma says he hasn’t seen a penny of the $40,000 he shelled out for a retail unit in the building. The same is true for 29-year-old Leo Zheng and his wife who spent $120,000 on a commercial space and one-bedroom unit with a balcony and a view of bustling Yonge St. to raise his two children in.

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