Embattled Sen. Mac Harb received a $55,000 loan from an Ottawa lawyer and businessman who has a long history of doing business with the federal government, documents obtained by CTV News show.

Property records show Harb accepted the loan in May from a numbered Ontario company that lists Brian Karam as the sole owner.

It’s against the law for government officials to accept money from someone who deals with the federal government without written permission.

It’s unclear if Harb sought or was granted permission from the Senate to accept the loan.

In June, Harb filed an updated disclosure statement to the Senate ethics officer indicating he owed an unspecified amount of money to 1202864 Ontario Ltd.

Last month, the former Liberal senator repaid $51,000 in improperly claimed expenses. Harb is fighting the Senate’s repayment order in court.

Neither Harb or Karam could be reached for comment Wednesday.

The Canadian Press reports that Karam is the president and director of another numbered company, 595799 Ontario Ltd., which operates as The Business Inn in downtown Ottawa.

Public records show the federal government has awarded The Business Inn more than $9 million in contracts since 2009.

The RCMP is investigating Harb’s housing and expense claims, alleging in court documents that he claimed an “uninhabitable” house in Cobden, Ont. as his primary residence in order to collect a taxpayer-funded living allowance.

The Mounties’ allegations have not been tested in court.

NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus said Karam’s loan to Harb requires answers.

"The Senate ethics office has to explain whether or not they were aware of this and whether they approved, because when a politician is receiving loans from numbered companies, that raises many, many questions," he said.

With a report from CTV’s Richard Madan and files from The Canadian Press