Accused: ‘No evidence that I committed fraud’

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A woman involved in a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud case is suggesting her husband is the real perpetrator.

“There’s no direct evidence against me,” Adina Harms Barbour, who is on trial for mortgage fraud, said during her closing arguments in Lethbridge Court, according to the Lethbridge Herald. “There is no evidence that I committed fraud before the court.”

Barbour, who defended herself during the trial, said her ex-husband had access to her computer and could have forged documents sent to CIBC that were eventually used to obtain a mortgage approval.

Calgary police initially uncovered an operation worth $12 million that involved eight banks and 22 homes. Buyers were allegedly convinced to obtain mortgages that would eventually be taken over by those orchestrating the plan after six months. The original buyers were allegedly promised between $3,000 and $5,000.

During the trial, Barbour said those she worked with were willing participants. She said the documents could have been forged by her ex-husband and a former CIBC bank employee.
However, some whose names appeared on mortgages – including her parents – testified they had no idea their names had been used to purchase mortgages.

Barbour was originally arrested in 2010 and charged with possession of stolen property and multiple counts of fraud over $5,000. She was also charged with uttering a forged document in connection with frauds taking place between 2007 and 2009 that totaled over $2.8 million.

Charges were eventually reduced to a single fraud and uttering a forged document.

According to the Herald, Crown prosecutor Steven Johnston said during closing arguments the issue was determining who committed the fraud.

“CIBC was the victim of fraud,” Johnston said. “The person who was providing those documents to the CIBC was the accused.”

A decision on the case will be made on December 4.

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