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Canada T{censored}m Singh Gill Pleads Guilty To $40-million Mortgage Fraud

Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
T{censored}m Singh Gill pleads guilty to $40-million mortgage fraud after long delay bringing case to trial

By KEITH FRASER, The Province - May 3, 2013 1:06 PM


Real estate developer T{censored}m Gill, pictured entering court in March 2009, has pleaded guilty to a
massive mortgage fraud scheme after lengthy delays in getting the case to trial.
Photograph by: Ward Perrin, Vancouver Sun

A former real estate developer pleaded guilty Friday in connection with a $40-million mortgage fraud that involved dozens of Lower Mainland home purchases.

In a brief court appearance, T{censored}m Singh Gill entered guilty pleas to two counts of fraud before B.C. Supreme Court Justice Terry Schultes in Vancouver. His four-week trial had been scheduled to open Monday.

The pleas ended a much-delayed court case that saw Gill initially charged in 2008 following a six-year police investigation into a fraudulent scheme involving home purchases dating back more than 12 years.

Along the way, Gill fired two of his lawyers and then re-elected to be tried by judge alone instead of a jury before making his decision to plead guilty.

His co-accused Martin Wirick, a lawyer at the time of the offences, pleaded guilty in June 2009 and received a seven-year jail term. Wirick was also disbarred.

Court heard that the scam involved the biggest legal fraud in Canadian history.

Wirick, who has since been released on parole, was to have been the Crown’s key witness at Gill’s trial.

At Friday’s appearance, Gill’s lawyer Jason Mann asked the judge to postpone sentencing until early in 2014 to accommodate what he called the “personal affairs” of his client.

“His daughter is getting married in February. That’s the main reason.”

The judge said that in the past there have been some criticisms of lengthy adjournments for sentencing, but added he would keep an open mind.

Mann said that he was likely going to be commissioning a psychiatric report for his client, who stood quietly in court as the criminal counts and their lengthy particulars were read out.

Crown counsel Kevin Gillett said it would only take him about a week to prepare for sentencing given the similarities with Wirick’s case, but suggested the matter be put over for two weeks to fix a date for sentencing.

He said he would be filing victim-impact statements that were also filed at Wirick’s sentencing.

Outside court, Mann said he may be prepared to comment on behalf of his client after the sentencing.

“There’s still a lot of stuff going on,” he said.

There was no one in the public gallery during Friday’s appearance apart from one newspaper reporter.

During Wirick’s sentencing, court heard that Wirick acted as Gill’s solicitor and, beginning in 1999 and continuing until 2002, began misdirecting money from Gill-related real-estate transactions.

Instead of paying off mortgages and liens on properties that unsuspecting people thought they were buying, Wirick funnelled the money to Gill or his numbered companies. The upshot was that the mortgages were still left on the homes.

Since the scam was discovered, the Law Society of B.C. has paid out $38.4 million to defrauded claimants after more than doubling assessment fees paid by all lawyers into a society compensation fund.

The owners of 77 different properties were impacted, and some suffered several years of uncertainty and stress before receiving the compensation.

Gill’s trial was initially scheduled to get under way in September 2011 but was adjourned when his then-lawyer, David Crossin, was fired by the accused.

In September 2012, the trial was again scheduled to open but a second high-profile lawyer, Ian Donaldson, was fired by Gill.

The accused hired a third lawyer, Robert Doran, but in January Doran told the judge that he was withdrawing over ethical concerns that he couldn’t divulge and for non-payment of legal fees.


© Copyright (c) The Province

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