Newly released court documents -- alleging a former senator committed mortgage fraud on a home he billed Senate expenses for -- serve as a cautionary tale for brokers.
“Mohmoud (Mac) Harb on or about October 12, 2007, at Ottawa or elsewhere in the Province of Ontario, did by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means defraud the Royal Bank
of Canada of money in excess of $5,000, by transferring the 99.99 per cent of the title to a property in Cobden, Ontario, to a third party, contrary to section 380(1)(a) of the Criminal Code,” the release states.
It is alleged that Herb transferred 99.99 per cent of the title to the home to his friend, Magdalene Teo, Brunei’s ambassador to China without notifying the lender, Royal Bank of Canada.
Harb also claimed the home as a primary residence, while billing the expenses. Senators can claim up to $22,000 allowance on homes that are more than 100 kilometres away from Parliament Hill.
According to a report from the Globe and Mail, the RCMP alleges Harb purchased a subsequent home in Westmeath, Ontario and took out a $240,000 mortgage. The original Cobden home was still owned by Harb and Teo and it was listed as a ‘solely owned asset’ according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
“The Mounties say RBC viewed that, too, as fraud, though acknowledged ‘there was no financial loss to RBC’ through the transactions,” the Globe article states. “The Cobden home was then sold altogether in 2011.”
The court document also mentions the Westmeah home.
“(Herb) did by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means defraud the Royal Bank of Canada of money in excess of $5,000 by providing false information to the Royal Bank of Canada in support of a mortgage application for a property in Westmeah, Ontario.”