Top Real Estate Fraud stories of 2013

Mar 25th, 2014 | By FCT

1. Gill pleads not guilty to biggest mortgage fraud in Canadian history ($40 million)
It is hard to believe that the biggest real estate fraud in Canadian history that occurred more than a decade ago is still winding its way through the courts. BC Real estate developer Tarsem Singh Gill pleads not guilty to two counts of fraud for the $40 million in mortgage fraud committed on 77 different properties between 1999-2002.

2. $20 million Toronto Condo Fraud
Last year, condo fraud embezzlement hit centre stage as more stories of condo manager embezzlement surfaced. Just in time for licensing of condo managers proposed by the Ontario government. While licensing is an important first step it won’t protect your condo from embezzlement. Does your condo board give carte blanche control to a condo manager? Like any corporation make sure that your condo board has financial controls in place.

3. Rent-to-Own case leaves buyers out in the cold ($11 million)
What looked like a great opportunity for renters to save for a down payment on a home –now looks like a scam. The questions to ask in these situations are – who has control of the down-payment? How will it be held as security? Clearly a promissory note is not the best form of protection. Independent legal advice for a rent-to-owner would be a better strategy.

4. Greedy’ Calgary fraudster in $5 million scam jailed nine years

The architect of a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme received a stiff sentence from a judge as a deterrent to other would-be fraudsters. Lenders lost more than $5 million in this scheme which used “straw buyers” to purchase properties at inflated rates. It is great to see judges imposing harsh sentences on these white collar crimes.

5. Swindled Homeowner gets land title back
While it is a relief that the homeowner got their title back, it is always disheartening to read a story about a homeowner without title insurance who get stuck with a large legal bill when a few hundred dollars for a premium could have protected them from this unfortunate and costly circumstance.

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