Fraud case calls dual licensing into question

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A Brampton mortgage agent will spend the next 12 months behind bars after pleading guilty to fraud over $5,000, and the case has mortgage brokers calling for single licensing.

“Another reason to require mortgage agents and brokers to work full time in the industry and not have multiple conflicting businesses,” one commenter said on MortgageBrokerNews.ca.

Harinarain Mathur – whose LinkedIn profile lists him as a “finance manager” at Century 21 -- was sentenced to serve 12 months in jail after pleading guilty to fraud. His Century 21 profile page, meanwhile, has since been taken.

A Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) investigation found that Mathur, a licensed real estate and mortgage agent who operated HR accounting and tax services, prepared false T4s and filed 292 fraudulent personal income tax returns for the 2010 and 2011 tax periods.

There are many mortgage brokers who successfully – and simultaneously run – thriving and ethical real estate practices but this case is another in a long line of cases of dual licensed agents have committed fraud. And some industry players believe professionals should focus on one or the other.

“Multiple business licenses must be stopped. He is having business license of real estate (and) mortgage. Kuldip Panesar Homeland Mortgage Corp. wrote. “He did the fraud in accounting business using the information from mortgage applications; this is clear conflict of interest. Only one business license should be given to one person.”

Still, the biggest issue, according to one reader, is the negative affect these cases have on the mortgage broker industry as a whole.

“This is an example of another ‘nail in the coffin’ i.e. clients can trust the banks’ mobile mortgage agents as they are bound by the banks rules,” Vincent Clarke wrote.
  • DB on 2014-11-28 1:56:21 PM

    Dual Licenses have 0 to do with it. It's all about a persons "ethic's" and professionalism. Apparently his was lacking.

  • Donna L on 2014-11-28 2:03:10 PM

    I remember a few years ago a mortgage agent ripped BMO off for millions of dollars. No dual license there. It's irrelevant.

  • Paul Dhand on 2014-11-28 2:18:43 PM

    I don't see any link between the dual licensing and fraud in this case; to my experience being both a mortgage broker and real estate broker serves interest of client much better than being a single line professional. Regarding Ripping off comment of Donna...a number of real estate broker/ owners have also ripped off the trust accounts...ethical conduct is a personal matter nothing to do with dual licensing.

  • Amber Moser on 2014-11-28 2:29:36 PM

    If I remember corhe dirrectly the advisor that ripped BMO off actually worked for BMO and it was part of a scam ring. So it doesn't matter whether you are a licensed broker or an employee of the bank or dual licensed. It is about the person, however, dual licensing gives more incentive to do something unethical.

  • Rick on 2014-11-28 2:30:26 PM

    This person was unethical with himself from the start. I am also a real estate & Mortgage broker as well as a tax accountant but when these scenarios surface specially when I notice that one of my buyers are looking into fraudulent acts to secure mortgage I refuse to continue with the case because the repercussions are far greater than a few dollars at the end of the day.

  • Bill on 2014-11-28 2:44:29 PM

    Interesting that were concerned about "dual licenses" ..however .. as a tax payer I would like to know if "RESTITUTION" was part of the sentencing .. he did rip off CRA ..which affects me as a taxpayer !

  • Bill on 2014-11-28 2:44:34 PM

    Interesting that were concerned about "dual licenses" ..however .. as a tax payer I would like to know if "RESTITUTION" was part of the sentencing .. he did rip off CRA ..which affects me as a taxpayer !

  • Bill on 2014-11-28 2:45:18 PM

    Interesting that were concerned about "dual licenses" ..however .. as a tax payer I would like to know if "RESTITUTION" was part of the sentencing .. he did rip off CRA ..which affects me as a taxpayer !

  • David Marco on 2014-11-28 2:45:19 PM

    I'm a realtor and mortgage broker and as honest as the day is long. The guy was a crook and got caught. Has nothing to do with dual licensing and any suggestion of that is outrageous.

  • David Marco on 2014-11-28 2:45:46 PM

    I'm a realtor and mortgage broker and as honest as the day is long. The guy was a crook and got caught. Has nothing to do with dual licensing and any suggestion of that is outrageous.

  • Bill on 2014-11-28 2:46:24 PM

    Interesting that were concerned about "dual licenses" ..however .. as a tax payer I would like to know if "RESTITUTION" was part of the sentencing .. he did rip off CRA ..which affects me as a taxpayer !

  • David Marco on 2014-11-28 2:46:27 PM

    I'm a realtor and mortgage broker and as honest as the day is long. The guy was a crook and got caught. Has nothing to do with dual licensing and any suggestion of that is outrageous.

  • Sardool Bhogal on 2014-11-28 2:47:35 PM

    A crook will do his/her deed, no matter how many license restriction are placed on them. Calling against duel license, is selfish motive on the part of mortgage broker industry. Greed is the driving force in most of these cases, and mortgage professionals talking against duel licence are showing a small streak of that in them self.

  • Sardool Bhogal on 2014-11-28 2:47:41 PM

    A crook will do his/her deed, no matter how many license restriction are placed on them. Calling against duel license, is selfish motive on the part of mortgage broker industry. Greed is the driving force in most of these cases, and mortgage professionals talking against duel licence are showing a small streak of that in them self.

  • Sardool Bhogal on 2014-11-28 2:47:58 PM

    A crook will do his/her deed, no matter how many license restriction are placed on them. Calling against duel license, is selfish motive on the part of mortgage broker industry. Greed is the driving force in most of these cases, and mortgage professionals talking against duel licence are showing a small streak of that in them self.

  • Julie Stamp on 2014-11-28 3:20:53 PM

    Hi, I think this article is intentionally skewed towards shining a poor light on the Mortgage Industry agents and brokers. That the article leads by saying a Brampton Mortgage Broker commits fraud is misleading it could have just as easily read Brampton Realtor commits fraud, however not as interesting I guess or Brampton HR Accountant commits fraud, back page material. The fact that the article writer chose to lead with Mortgage Broker commits fraud seems purposefully composed to cast the ill light on our industry. While having dual licensing can be cause for more instances of conflict of interest, in this case he willfully manipulated systems he had access to and my guess is that if he did not have the multiple licensing he would have found a way to commit this fraud one way or another. Its like the lock on your front door, its there to keep the honest people out , if someone really wants in, its not going to stop them. The way to help deter this kind of licensing abuse is to have a proper structured licensing systems, with more than one layer of licensing granted, with appropriate future licensing levels reached only when specific education/experience levels have been met, also increasing licensing costs and annual costs helps weed out part timers or non performing agents. I believe that it is the structure of our licensing, easy access, low cost and lack of actual mandated experience and supervision that causes a lot of these issues to occur. Fraudulent bankers and lawyers and all others exist, it is not specific to our industry and until FSCO mandates better structure for agent management and training we will continue to see issues like these that cast unfair aspersions on those of us that do take our careers and the responsibilities inherent in our business seriously. It is unfortunate that this person chose to abuse their power and access to information however I do not see this as a dual licensing issue so much as a morality and ethics issue. And no I am not dually licensed, lol.

  • Sardool Bhogal on 2014-11-28 3:26:09 PM

    Julie Stamp Realtor never asks and never need to know SIN #. Article is correctly headed as the information needed to commit this crime will come easily to mortgage or accounting professional. Too bad you are so sensitive.

  • Julie Stamp on 2014-11-28 3:36:54 PM

    Actually Sardool, I am not a Realtor, I am a Mortgage Broker, while we are granted access to personal information to proceed with the loan process, many other types of business are also granted the same information, the choice to misuse or abuse that information is based on the individuals inner ethics and morality. And I do not believe I evidenced sensitivity in my comment, merely pointed out their was a purpose behind the heading. Headings are generated to grab your attention, I, like you, am merely expressing my opinion on this article.

  • Julie Stamp on 2014-11-28 3:38:55 PM

    I am not a Realtor, I am a Mortgage Broker, while we are granted access to personal information to proceed with the loan process, many other types of business are also granted the same information, the choice to misuse or abuse that information is based on the individuals inner ethics and morality. And I do not believe I evidenced sensitivity in my comment, merely pointed out their was a purpose behind the heading. Headings are generated to grab your attention, I, like you, am merely expressing my opinion on this article.

  • Julie Stamp on 2014-11-28 3:39:14 PM

    I am not a Realtor, I am a Mortgage Broker, while we are granted access to personal information to proceed with the loan process, many other types of business are also granted the same information, the choice to misuse or abuse that information is based on the individuals inner ethics and morality. And I do not believe I evidenced sensitivity in my comment, merely pointed out their was a purpose behind the heading. Headings are generated to grab your attention, I, like you, am merely expressing my opinion on this article.

  • BILL on 2014-11-28 4:25:14 PM

    I THINK THE WRITER SHOULD BE LOOKING INTO FORMER PREMIER OF ONTARIO "DALTON MCGUNITY BREACH OF TRUST FOR BILLIONS

  • Bonnie on 2014-11-28 4:53:16 PM

    Totally agree there is nothing to do with dual licensing, the bank has Multiple business licenses, they can sell clients everything, if the multiple licenses have to be stoped, the bank should be the first one, may be the bank only can open the saving and cheque account, and let mortgage agent to deal with the mortgage :)

  • Tarlochan Singh on 2014-11-28 5:07:47 PM

    Number of Licences has nothing to do with fraud. If one person has bad intention of doing fraud, he will do it, no matter he has one licence or multiple licences.

  • Vincent Clarke on 2014-11-28 6:38:07 PM

    VC. Re my previous comments "we are losing market share to banks and this is just another nail in the coffin". I agree with most above dual licencing is not the issue. "Mass producing" of mortgage agents is . The banks mobile agents are usually recruited from existing staff with previous banking/lending experience and on average have minimum college education . FSCO has allowed every college (e.g Sheridan) and organisation (e.g CAMP) to make tons of money filling up Mortgage Agent Licencing Courses for any individual regardless of their past experience, education level or "ethics".

  • Vincent Clarke on 2014-11-28 6:52:21 PM

    Good By..You delete my comments and edit!
    Remove now. If one more received from you will file complaint under the new "antri-spam" laws and suel

  • Mark M. on 2014-11-28 7:09:14 PM

    I agree with most of the comments. Dual licensing has nothing to do with this. This man would have done it anyways whether an accountant, a broker or a realtor. He is a crook. Look how often fraud is happening between multiple people with realtor, lawyer, mortgage person, etc, involved. Get off the kick of stopping dual licensing and let's just focus on good business. All industries, all companies have people that will find a way to commit fraud. Bank reps do just as much fraud as brokers, maybe more. The difference is, banks will hide it so we usually do not find out about it. Perhaps FSCO should use our fees to hire more auditors so they can find these fraudulent people quicker. At the end of the day, it appears more of this idiot's fraud was through his accounting business anyways, not mortgages.

  • Mark M. on 2014-11-28 7:09:29 PM

    I agree with most of the comments. Dual licensing has nothing to do with this. This man would have done it anyways whether an accountant, a broker or a realtor. He is a crook. Look how often fraud is happening between multiple people with realtor, lawyer, mortgage person, etc, involved. Get off the kick of stopping dual licensing and let's just focus on good business. All industries, all companies have people that will find a way to commit fraud. Bank reps do just as much fraud as brokers, maybe more. The difference is, banks will hide it so we usually do not find out about it. Perhaps FSCO should use our fees to hire more auditors so they can find these fraudulent people quicker. At the end of the day, it appears more of this idiot's fraud was through his accounting business anyways, not mortgages.

  • Omer Quenneville on 2014-11-29 3:57:33 AM

    I am both a Realtor and Mortgage Broker and don't see the connection at all. I reported a broker for tampering with his trust account and they did close him down but basically he got a slap on the hand. That's the problem.

  • Victor Simone on 2014-11-29 7:33:28 AM

    It is the responsibility of the licensed professional to uphold their duty of care, in all industries. Dual licensing has nothing to do with duty of care, and the licensing bodies agree. Honest mortgage agents choose to be honest, or the whole independent mortgage marketplace would collapse.

    A crime may best be avoided by caveat emptor.

  • Mary on 2014-11-29 1:36:43 PM

    I wonder if conditions of real estate market in Brampton, or in GTA in fact is lesser of a crime.

  • Sardool Bhogal on 2014-11-29 1:45:21 PM

    Comments are going off topic.

  • Mary on 2014-11-29 4:00:27 PM

    Is that the opinion of your bank account, Sardool?

  • Vincent on 2014-11-29 7:40:06 PM

    I agree with Sardool. There will be major announcement from one of the big banks shortly targeting our industry.

  • Omer Quenneville on 2014-11-29 7:46:28 PM

    The problem is we don't have a voice to reach the public. It would be advantageous if we were to contribute to a marketing fund similar to the real estate and insurance industry.

  • Walid Hammami on 2014-11-30 11:37:16 PM

    The rules are there for everybody to apply or break. Nothing to do with dual licensing. It's just that some people either have very low ethical standards or are in a bad situation that put them in survival mode. We can correct both Ethical standards will be reinforced with proper punishment and good education from the beginning. For the survival mode, it's all about coaching, the Agency owner is getting a cut on the commission and needs to acknowledge his responsibility in noticing how his agents are doing and provide the necessary coaching support or even an advise to leave the industry if necessary.

  • Mark Cashin on 2014-12-01 9:50:36 AM

    As a Broker that works in the Brampton / Mississauga area...If only I had a nickel for every time a Newcomer assumed, believed or thought it was a normal course of business that I will manufacture documents so they can get a mortgage (or make a "B" or "C" client an "A" client) and they can negotiate down "The Fraud Fee" to do the paperwork well let’s just say I wouldn't have to close one deal to earn a living. It is shocking! The brazen disrespect for our system(s). If I had another nickel for every time I am told "Well that's just the way it is done back home" ...id be rich! I am not sure if Brampton still holds the title for highest fraud in both mortgage and car insurance, I am sure Mississauga can't be far behind that dubious honour. This issue is much larger and has little to do with a dual licence!

  • Mark Cashin on 2014-12-01 9:50:45 AM

    As a Broker that works in the Brampton / Mississauga area...If only I had a nickel for every time a Newcomer assumed, believed or thought it was a normal course of business that I will manufacture documents so they can get a mortgage (or make a "B" or "C" client an "A" client) and they can negotiate down "The Fraud Fee" to do the paperwork well let’s just say I wouldn't have to close one deal to earn a living. It is shocking! The brazen disrespect for our system(s). If I had another nickel for every time I am told "Well that's just the way it is done back home" ...id be rich! I am not sure if Brampton still holds the title for highest fraud in both mortgage and car insurance, I am sure Mississauga can't be far behind that dubious honour. This issue is much larger and has little to do with a dual licence!

  • Paul Jackson on 2014-12-01 1:00:31 PM

    Nothing to do with dual licencing, a crook is a crook and will always find a way to scam a system. I'm a real estate broker and mortgage broker and I've seen lots of opportunities to commit fraud but I'm not stupid enough to do it! BTW all the fraud opportunities lie on the mortgage side without getting into the extreme of straw buyers.

    To Julie, the reason they led the story with Mortgage Broker is that he was using the info gained between his accounting business and mortgage business to commit fraud - it was nothing to do with his real estate business. One of the reasons why the whole question of Mortgage/Realtor dual licencing shouldnt even be in question here!!.

    BTW we're all talking about ethics here and I see several people describing themselves as mortgage brokers when in fact they are more likely to be mortgage agents. It's long past time that the term "Mortgage Broker" is applied only to brokers. Yes - I am a Broker! If the same regulations applied to mortgage agents as are applied to real estate agents there would be a lot less misrepresentation and fraud going on. RECO would never allow this kind of stuff to go on. I guarantee you that there are NO real estate agents out there calling themselves brokers.

  • Paul Jackson on 2014-12-01 1:00:43 PM

    Nothing to do with dual licencing, a crook is a crook and will always find a way to scam a system. I'm a real estate broker and mortgage broker and I've seen lots of opportunities to commit fraud but I'm not stupid enough to do it! BTW all the fraud opportunities lie on the mortgage side without getting into the extreme of straw buyers.

    To Julie, the reason they led the story with Mortgage Broker is that he was using the info gained between his accounting business and mortgage business to commit fraud - it was nothing to do with his real estate business. One of the reasons why the whole question of Mortgage/Realtor dual licencing shouldnt even be in question here!!.

    BTW we're all talking about ethics here and I see several people describing themselves as mortgage brokers when in fact they are more likely to be mortgage agents. It's long past time that the term "Mortgage Broker" is applied only to brokers. Yes - I am a Broker! If the same regulations applied to mortgage agents as are applied to real estate agents there would be a lot less misrepresentation and fraud going on. RECO would never allow this kind of stuff to go on. I guarantee you that there are NO real estate agents out there calling themselves brokers.

  • Omer Quenneville on 2014-12-01 1:53:46 PM

    Paul, I am a mortgage broker and real estate broker as well and I can assure you RECO would not permit broker unless they were a broker, they would not let them call themselves real estate agent as well. They are real estate sales reps or brokers, not real estate agents.

  • Sardool Bhogal on 2014-12-01 2:51:33 PM

    Mark Cashin Law requires you to report this activity. Why are you not reporting it? You are equally guilty for letting these things happen. If RECO knew that I know as much as what you know, they will put me in wringer in high gear.

  • Ron Butler on 2014-12-01 4:40:00 PM

    Wait a second, let's not throw Mark Cashin under the bus. I attended a seminar Genworth put on 4 years ago and at that time they put up a graph outlining the results from their own internal study of their portfolio: one town amounted to more incidents of mortgage fraud than 8 provinces and 2 Territories PUT TOGETHER................ Brampton.

    I am not saying the information is still true today and I am not saying what type of fraud because I simply don't know but facts are facts.

  • Omer Quenneville on 2014-12-01 5:20:35 PM

    I think it happens so much that it is almost acceptable. When I am working with other brokers it is common for them to suggest a manipulation of something. I always flat out refuse. One deal is never worth it. Interesting fact about Brampton. It would be interesting to know more.

  • Vincent Clarke on 2014-12-01 6:50:22 PM

    Still agree with Sardool. Off Topic...Most of above comments are from Realators. That in itself should have been a red flag by FSCO i.e. conflict of interest..i.e. realtor sells home then changes hats to Mortgage Agent/Broker to make sure they get mortgage to qualify hence double dipping!

  • Paul Jackson on 2014-12-01 11:43:49 PM

    Vincent, most of the comments are from mortgage agents. You might not like it but there is absolutely nothing wrong with double dipping. just means I'm twice as smart! And there is also absolutely no reason why a person who decides to look after their clients more completely should automatically be more likely to commit fraud. The reason I started doing mortgages in the first place was because mortgage agent consistently failed to communicate in a professional manner. I have had clients who have been placed in awful situations by mortgage agents who say everything is OK and let them sign waivers on finance only to later find out they were not. Or the mortgage agents who take their sweet time only to say they can't do the deal and then leave the poor buyer 24 hrs to find someone who can. I do both sides and the communication is 100% accurate and far less stressful for the client. Most of my real estate clients don't use me for mortgages because I don't force myself onto them. But even if they don't, the additional knowledge I have as a mortgage broker helps me to ensure that their bank or mortgage person is doing the right thing by them. It's all about customer first and customer care. Get of your high horse and get yourself a real estate licence!

  • Vincent Clarke on 2014-12-02 6:37:34 PM

    Paul thank you as the only one to address my Comments. You state you are a professional but then again have to question your last sentence. For the record I have several Licences including real estate, FSCO Mortgage and also audit/examiner for FSCO and MTO. If you read all my comments above it is not a "High Horse" I am coming from but pointing out the integrity and professionalism of both our industries is now a broken business model due to the saturation of less qualified individuals all approved by the current qualification criteria.

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