Indo-Canadian MP faces criminal probe in mortgage fraud

May 14th, 2010 - 10:18 am ICT by IANS  

By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, May 14 (IANS) Canadian police Thursday launched criminal investigations against Indian Canadian MP Devinder Shory and dozens of others named in the country’s biggest mortgage fraud.In its lawsuit filed last week, the Bank of Montreal - which is one of the top five Canadian banks - had named Shory along with over 100 people in the $69.5-million mortgage scam. Lawyers, brokers and the bank’s own staff are among those named in the mega-fraud. The bank said it lost $30 million in the scam.

The newest among nine Indian-origin MP in the Canadian parliament, 51-year-old Shory was elected for the first time in 2008.

A practising lawyer in Calgary, he was elected from Calgary Northeast, beating two fellow Indo-Canadians - Satnam Kang of the Liberal Party and Vinay Dey of the New Democratic Party (NDP).

Launching the investigations into the biggest mortgage fraud Thursday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Calgary City Police said they are sifting through “a very large amount of documentation to examine and many interviews to complete.”

Indian-born Shory has denied any wrong-doing. “I will defend myself vigorously against these accusations. I have done nothing wrong. As the matter is before the courts, I have no further comment at this time,” he said.

The lawsuit links Shory to a fraudulent scheme run by the Malik Group, reportedly run by Indian Canadian Sanjeev Malik.

Between 2006 and 2007, the Indian Canadian MP arranged for a transfer of land from the seller to the straw (fake) buyers, who were each promised $3,000 to $8,000 by the Malik Group to make phoney mortgage applications, says the lawsuit.

The bank says Shory and other lawyers with the Malik Group should have undertaken “their duties with the utmost skill, care and attention in every respect as an accepted standard of practice of a reasonably prudent solicitor.”

There have been calls for Shory’s ouster from the House, with opposition demanding that the prime minister take action against the Indian Canadian MP. “A Conservative member is being accused by one of the largest financial companies in Canada of participating in a multimillion-dollar fraud. There is not a word from the Prime Minister…” said opposition Liberal Party MP Wayne Easter.

Shory is the second Indian-origin MP in Canada currently facing investigations. Another Indian-origin former MP Rahim Jaffer, who lost in the 2008 parliamentary elections, is already facing a parliamentary probe for alleged ethics violations.

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at gurmukh.s@ians.in)

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