RCMP unveils new details in fraud allegations against Mac Harb
Andrea Janus, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, January 10, 2014 1:18PM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 10, 2014 8:52PM EST
The RCMP has unveiled more details about its allegations of mortgage fraud against former Liberal senator Mac Harb.
In newly released court documents investigators allege that hours after Harb took out a $177,000 mortgage on his home in Cobden, Ont., in Oct. 2007, he transferred 99.99 per cent of the title to Magdalene Teo, who was at the time Brunei’s High Commissioner to Canada. She is now Brunei’s ambassador to China.
The RCMP documents allege Harb retained 0.01 percent of the home in his name, and did not notify the bank of the transfer, “thereby putting (the bank) at potential risk financially.” Investigators also allege that in late 2010 Harb took out a second mortgage, this time on a home in Westneath, Ont., and in his mortgage application told Royal Bank that he was the sole owner Cobden property.
“This was a fraudulent misrepresentation of assets on that mortgage application,” RCMP Cpl. Greg Horton alleges in the affidavit.
In the court documents, Horton says he has not been able to determine the nature of the relationship between Harb and Teo, because both have refused to speak to investigators. Teo has asked that investigators’ questions be submitted in writing, and has only said that the two had a “personal friendship.”
The RCMP is seeking all mortgage documents in Harb’s name dated Oct. 1, 2007 to Oct. 31, 2013, including land registry records and all correspondence from RBC.
No charges have been laid, and none of the allegations have been tested or proven in court.
The RCMP’s mortgage fraud allegations against Harb first came to light in court documents filed last July as part of its investigation into the former senator’s expense claims.
The home in question is the same one that Harb said he lived in in order to claim the Senate’s $22,000-per-year housing allowance. Senators can claim the allowance if their primary residence is more than 100 km outside of Ottawa.
In previously filed court documents, investigators have said they do not believe that Harb lived there.
In those documents, filed in July, the RCMP said there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that Harb committed “breach of trust in connection with the duties of his office by filling inappropriate expense claims.”
Harb left the Liberal caucus and later retired from the Senate last August after repaying $231,649 in living and other expense claims.