Breaking Fraud Cases from Canadian Courts
On August 14, 2016, Vimal Iyer, the sole director of Trident Properties Ltd., in Edmonton, Alberta, was convicted of 33 counts of fraud in the longest jury trial in Alberta history – a full year. The quantum of the fraud was over $2.4 M.
On December 2, 2016, Mr. Iyer was sentenced to seven (7) years of imprisonment, and a restitution order of $2.3 M was issued.
As the conviction was the result of a trial by jury, no reasons for conviction were published. However, the sentencing judge took it upon himself to create detailed reasons for conviction for the purpose of sentencing. These reasons can be found at R v Iyer, 2016 ABQB 680.1.
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The Court made a detailed account of the fraud on its victims, which it summarized under headings of financial stress, emotional consequences and health imparts. The Court underscored that the damage caused by fraud extends far beyond the simple of loss of money.
The financial hardships included factors of not being able to pay for what was planned for, such as education, weddings and travel, and having to go back to work or take second jobs just to make ends meet.
The emotional and health factors included embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, guilt, self-doubt of judgment and intelligence, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, loneliness, anger and panic attacks. The shame of the loss resulted in many victims curtailing their social activities with family and friends.
Mr. Iyer has appealed his conviction, and was granted bail with conditions. On June 2, 2017, the Court of Appeal of Alberta released its decision in R v Iyer, 2017 ABCA 168,2 granting amended bail conditions to Mr. Iyer.
The Court of Queen’s Bench initially held that Mr. Iyer had to post $75,000 as security for production of the transcripts of testimony from trial. As a condition of bail, the Court of Appeal amended this bail condition and ordered that Mr. Iyer had to pre-pay the cost of the transcript of his trial – estimated at $125,000.
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The Court noted that since his conviction, Mr. Iyer has sold his house, and paid a significant retainer to new appellant counsel. The Court of Queen’s Bench found as fact that some of the victim’s money went toward paying for Mr. Iyer’s properties. It is not reported by the Court of Appeal what steps are being taken to ensure the victim’s money does not end up supporting Mr. Iyer’s legal fees.
In his initial bail hearing, Mr. Iyer sought permission to travel to Fiji to sell other properties. This request was denied by the Court of Queen’s Bench, and again by the Alberta Court of Appeal. The Court noted that Mr. Iyer is not a Canadian citizen, has strong ties to Fiji, and that Canada does not have an extradition treaty with Fiji. Accordingly Mr. Iyer’s bail travel request was denied.
For further information on this case, or any other fraud recovery inquiry, contact Canadian Fraud News Inc.