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Alleged key players charged in $17-million Project Bridle Path mortgage fraud investigation

Missing lawyer Golnaz Vakili, linked to the “sophisticated and complex” mortgage fraud investigation dubbed “Project Bridle Path,” has returned to Canada and will be a witness in the case, police confirmed.

March 8, 2018 (Courtesy of the Toronto Star) –  Toronto police have charged two men for alleged ties to a sophisticated $17-million mortgage fraud case and the disappearance of a rookie lawyer who is believed to have fled the country in 2013 and was central to the alleged scheme.

Arash Missaghi and Grant Erlick are facing criminal charges of fraud exceeding $5,000, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and being an accessory after the fact to an indictable offence. Missaghi was also charged with uttering forged documents. Erlick was charged with money laundering.

The charges come almost four years after the Star looked into the case of the missing millions, the private financing of luxury homes in one of the city’s toniest neighbourhoods, broken business relationships and a young lawyer on the run, Golnaz Vakili. Toronto police confirmed today that Vakili is back in Canada and will be a witness in the case.

Toronto police have named their investigation Project Bridle Path.

Missaghi and Erlick are accused of “enabling (Vakili) to escape” and providing “comfort” to Vakili, respectively, while knowing she was “party to the offence (of uttering forged documents and obstructing justice),” according to court documents. The men conspired to “obstruct justice,” the documents allege.

Attempts to reach both men for comment were unsuccessful.

Speaking to the length of time it took police to lay charges, Det. Alan Fazeli, with the financial crimes unit, pointed to the fact that Vakili has been out of the country. “Obviously there has been a change in that situation. She is co-operating,” he told the Star. Fazeli also confirmed that Vakili has pleaded guilty to two charges: Obstruction of Justice and Uttering forged documents.

Two other men were also charged. Masumeh Shaer-Valaie is charged with fraud over $5,000, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and being an accessory after the fact to an indictable offence.

You can read the full article at thestar.com

Deborah McCoy – Is an investigative journalist and has over 17 years of investigation experience in both the private and public business sectors. Since joining CFN, Ms. McCoy has become a true advocate for victims of fraud and increasing the public’s awareness in fraud prevention.