RCMP seeks Mac Harb's bank info, alleges ex-senator committed breach of trust
Then-Senator Mac Harb arrives to the East Block of Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 29, 2013. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Wednesday, October 23, 2013 4:11PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 23, 2013 6:23PM EDT
The RCMP is seeking former senator Mac Harb’s banking information as part of the investigation into his ineligible Senate expenses, court documents show.
In the documents, lead investigator Corp. Greg Horton says there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that Harb committed “breach of trust in connection with the duties of his office by filing inappropriate expense claims.”
Horton also alleges that between Dec. 2, 2003 and July 1, 2013 Harb “did by deceit, falsehood or other fraudulent means defraud the Senate of Canada of money by filing inappropriate expense claims.”
No charges have been laid against Harb.
In a production order, Horton is seeking access to Bank of Montreal and Royal Bank of Canada accounts associated with Harb.
Harb resigned from the Senate in August after repaying approximately $230,000 in ineligible expenses from the past eight years.
Harb was one of four senators accused of filing ineligible living or travel claims following external audits by the accounting firm Deloitte and a review by the Senate’s Standing Committee on Internal Economy.
The RCMP has alleged that during different time periods since 2003, Harb claimed homes in Cobden and Westmeath, Ont., as his primary residences, even though he lived in Ottawa.
Senators can claim an annual allowance of up to $22,000 if their primary residence is more than 100 kilometres away from Parliament Hill.
In court documents, Horton says the RCMP interviewed a number of Harb’s neighbours in Cobden, as well as various contractors, repairmen and cleaners, who said they rarely saw the former senator at that house and did not believe the home was lived in full-time.
As CTV News previously reported, Horton also notes that in 2007, Harb sold 99.99 per cent of the ownership of the Cobden home to Magdeline Teo, then the Brunei high commissioner to Canada. Harb maintained a 0.01 per cent of the stake in the property, and still claimed it as his primary residence.
Horton says in his affidavit that Teo, currently the Brunei ambassador to China, refused to meet with RCMP investigators to discuss the unusual transaction. She only offered terse responses to the Mounties’ written questions.