Mississauga-based real estate lawyer, Rita Grewal, has allegedly fled the country – leaving behind her home and practice – with $3.5 million in mortgage funds she was holding in a trust account.
The Law Society of Upper Canada believes she has fled to India.
“By the end of July 2014, (Grewal’s) home and her office had been vacated and her files have not been located,” wrote hearing panel chairman David Wright in the recent decision on the law society’s application for an interlocutory suspension, according to the Law Times News. “Activity on her credit cards suggests that Ms. Grewal may have gone to India. Ms. Grewal has not responded to the law society’s inquiries or to this proceeding and has not explained what happened to the money.”
The funds being held were related to purchases, sales and refinances.
While $3.5 million is the total number of funds missing, Wright’s ruling states, that Grewal’s account held a mere fraction of that -- $100,000 – when it was finally frozen.
To date, the law society has received 11 complaints from clients who say they handed money over to Grewal under the impression that it would go toward their mortgages. It has since suspended her license to practice law in Canada.
Grewal, who was called to the bar in 2011, is described by one former colleague as a dedicated legal professional.
“She was very normal and a pretty dogged lawyer,” fellow lawyer, Moira Gracey told the Toronto Star. ““It’s unbelievable. I was just speechless and I still can’t get over it.”
Another day, another mortgage fraud; this time, the alleged perpetrator has fled the country.