$30 million mortgage fraud scheme

Vansanity posted a link to this story in the Vancouver Sun.  Two men have just been charged for one of the biggest financial frauds in BC history:

Gill’s method of operation — as described in the Benchers’ Bulletin (the law society’s in-house publication) — was to develop a property and sell it to one of his nominees. The nominee would arrange a mortgage on the property and then sell it to an innocent purchaser.

The purchaser, in turn, would arrange financing from his lending institution and forward the money to Wirick on his undertaking to pay off the original mortgage loan and register a new first mortgage. But rather than disburse the money as promised, Wirick simply paid the funds to Gill and his Vanview group of companies.

In many cases, Wirick would provide false discharge documents, and a portion of the purloined money would be used to keep the original mortgage payments current, so neither the purchaser nor the original mortgage lender would be any wiser.

The new mortgage lender, meanwhile, naturally assumed he had obtained a first mortgage against the property. But since the original mortgage hadn’t really been discharged, he was actually in second position.

In some cases, this process was repeated, enabling Gill to mortgage the property many times over and generate more money than it was worth. Eventually the scheme collapsed, revealing a tangled web of transactions, mortgages and competing claims.

When the scheme was uncovered, law society officials took over Wirick’s practice and audited his books and records. They also obtained access to Gill’s records through the court, which gave them a good idea of where the money went.

Real estate always goes up, but not fast enough for Gill & Wirick it seems..

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jesse
jesse
12 years ago

"can bet they’ve been pretty diligent in the last 6 years to see this doesn’t happen again"

I'm not questioning their ability to better prevent this specific type of fraud however I didn't hear them mention that there will be no more cases of mortgage fraud involving lawyers.

pinocchio123
pinocchio123
12 years ago

The August numbers that is…

pinocchio123
pinocchio123
12 years ago

I wonder how they will try and spin this one?

Anonymous
Anonymous
12 years ago

wasnt there a "Gill" involved with a Gillian Guess a few years ago? Not sure if related, but makes one wonder.

All I can say: Yahooo, it is the wild west!!

Patiently Waiting
Patiently Waiting
12 years ago

OT – NDP leaps ahead
http://tinyurl.com/65d8qk

After years of trailing far back, the BC NDP is suddenly favored to win the next election. The pollster, Angus Reid, talks about the hot button issues like carbon taxes and civil servant salaries, but I think the real issue is the economy. Even if people are still working, they can't make headway despite long hours and are becoming frustrated. More taxes and overpaid bureaucrats just remind them of their misery.

scullboy
12 years ago

I remember at one point on VHB's old blog there was a discussion of how high prices would have to climb before interest in purchasing collapsed.

I guess we're there. And that means only one thing will get the market going eventually.

Prices will have to fall to a point where people see value in the purchase again.

Don't get me wrong there are still a load of fools out there. There are people who would rather lose 200 – 300K then become a lowly renter. I know a few.

Those people deserve to be scalped. 🙂

patriotz
patriotz
12 years ago

Well indeed he did, but we beat him to it: 🙂

http://www.discovervancouver.com/forums/allan%20a

scoop
scoop
12 years ago

Jesse, easy on the sarcasm. The rules for handling real estate transactions were changed, and the loophole that Wirick was exploiting was closed. Every lawyer in the province paid hundreds out of their own pocket to reimburse the victims. You can bet they’ve been pretty diligent in the last 6 years to see this doesn’t happen again.

Michael Randallbard
12 years ago

Just got off the phone with Allan Angell. You readers here are going to be STUNNED when you see the sales figures for July-August. He says worst since ’80

He predicted this crash, no one believed him and now its happening.

These are not quotes only paraphrasing as best as I can recall….he speaks fast

How about only 10 sales in W Van for August!!!!
Only 49 in Richmond

I was shaking, literally, while listening to him tell me what was happening in the market. It’s like there is now no chance of getting out of this market as interest has dried up like an overcooked turkey and prices on the N Shore are tumbling
He is Canada’s top money making realtor.

Vansanity
Vansanity
12 years ago

My confidence in the industry is dwindling, I need John to somehow spin this to be a benefit to us all. John, where are you buddy? Give us all that warm fuzzy feeling.

jesse
jesse
12 years ago

Not to worry, though. The Law Society of BC has “adopted new rules” to help prevent this from happening again. Phew.

jesse
jesse
12 years ago

According to CBC, all these transactions occurred between 2000 and 2002. I wonder what we are going to hear about in 2014.

M-
12 years ago

What amazes me the most here is how little the lawyer made in the whole deal– $600K over 4 years of fraud that he knew (or ought to have known) would collapse in due time. He wasn't making enough on this fraud to get out of the country.

But what about the developer? He ended up with at least $3M in profits, plenty of money to get started in another country. I'm amazed that he didn't clean out his accounts and take off elsewhere.

But I guess that's what happens– greedy pigs get slaughtered.

Aleks
Aleks
12 years ago

This is why, in fraud and in life, setting goals is important. They should've set a reasonable goal for their scheme like $15-20 million and once that was achieved they should've retired to a non-extradition country. They had to know their scheme would unravel eventually; a fraudulent scheme that doesn't unravel is known as a business model.

Bubble Lad
Bubble Lad
12 years ago

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC….

I like the fact that it's not a problem until someone from OUTSIDE Vancouver sees it – like those juicy, high rolling Olympic tourists.

I also like the last paragraph:

"He also said some people arrested in the Downtown Eastside could be sent out of town. The plan drawn up for some offenders from outside the neighbourhood could entail returning to where they came from, Judge Gove said. He said he was reluctant to have the court order offenders to leave the neighbourhood. But persuasion could be used to make the trip out of town part of the plan presented in the community court, he said."

How exactly do you know "where they came from"? and does "persuasion" mean being tossed out of a police cruiser in Burnaby without your shoes?

Bubble Lad
Bubble Lad
12 years ago

NOW we’re getting somewhere – throw a little outright FRAUD in the mix. I love you, Vancouver! Time to show everybody what a world class (criminal) city we are!

Also: has anybody else lost track of the gangland shootings? They seem to get reported on the morning news in the same vein as traffic accidents.