BMO sues top mortgage specialist for fraud

BMO sues top mortgage specialist for fraud

The Bank of Montreal is suing a top mortgage specialist, Josephine Tortora, who worked out of a Burnaby, B.C. branch, according to The Vancouver Province

The local paper reported Tortora allegedly split commissions with her manager, Shenaz Poonja, and transferred $245,000 to Poonja's account as payment for the 40 to 100 mortgages she referred to Tortora on an annual basis between 2004 and 2008.

The lawsuit filed by BMO further alleged the two former employees defrauded the bank by granting mortgages to 10 homeowners in Ontario based on appraisals they knew were overinflated and submitted by a third party, George Papadogambros, which is against bank policy.

Tortora, Poonja and Papdogambros have denied everything in the lawsuit except their names and addresses and the two women have filed wrongful-dismissal counterclaims, reports The Vancouver Province. 

"This whole thing is bogus," Tortora told the newspaper. Poonja's lawyer said the bank was "fully aware" that his client was referring mortgages to Tortora.

15 Comments
  • John B 2009-06-05 4:14:06 AM
    Mortgage agents have been kicking back THOUSANDS per deal referred to Bill Collectors in 3rd party collection agencies for years.

    Now thats a conflict of interest!!! When is someone going to crack down on that?
    Post a reply
  • John B 2009-06-05 4:14:32 AM
    Mortgage agents have been kicking back THOUSANDS per deal referred to Bill Collectors in 3rd party collection agencies for years. Now thats a conflict of interest!!! When is someone going to crack down on that?
    Post a reply
  • Dave 2009-06-05 7:53:12 AM
    I am a mortgage broker who occassionally gets these deals from collection agencies. I give a 20% referral fee to the agency that gives me the deals. First off the collection agencies only get paid when they collect from the client and only get paid on the mortgage if it closes. Second these clients are not credit worthy enough to deal with a bank and generally do not know about mortgage brokers or even their options. We negotiate a better settlement for the client as we don't just settle with one collector but with all of them at the same time. There is value in it for the client.
    Third who is going to pay for my time and my expenses when I get a client a really good interest rate and they take my rate to their bank and get the bank to match it. They never would have gotten the great rate if a broker hadn't have gotten it for them. We can't collect an up front fee from the client so we are forced to find our business elsewhere. There are also mortgage brokers that pay refferal fees to Real estate agents however I'm not one because I believe the realtor makes enough on the deal.
    I feel that as long as I'm doing right by the client why shouldn't the person who refferred me the deal at least get something as they could have sent it anywhere.
    Post a reply