08/12/2014 06:12 EDT | Updated 10/12/2014 05:59 EDT

RCMP believe two sought in alleged $7M investment fraud have fled country

TORONTO - The RCMP says two Toronto residents charged in an alleged $7-million investment scam are believed to have fled the country.

The Mounties allege the accused raised the money from investors through New Life Capital Corporation and affiliated firms, but that the cash was then transferred to their personal accounts in the Bahamas.

It says a total of $22 million was raised from upwards of 600 investors — mostly Canadian — for the companies as New Life bought life insurance policies from the United States for a fraction of the face value and pooled the benefits.

But it says $7-million was allegedly siphoned off between 2007 and 2008 and laundered through various shell companies for the personal use of the two accused.

Laddy Pogachar, 44, and Paola Lombardi, 39, face one count each of fraud over $5,000, theft over $5,000, laundering the proceeds of crime and possession of property obtained by crime.

RCMP say it's believed Pogachar is in Central America and Lombardi the Bahamas.