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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Accused Fraudster Out on Bail

Scott Park, a lawyer accused in the huge mortgage fraud case has been released on bail, according to a story in the Edmonton Sun today. He was previously ordered kept behind bars, but is now out on $5000 bail. He is not allowed to take part in any real estate transactions while he's out.

From what I read, of the six people charged in the case, only one remains behind bars - Pedro Brito, who turned himself in to police.

Here is the complete article by Tony Blais:

A city lawyer charged in a massive fraud case got bail yesterday after a judge overturned an earlier decision by a justice of the peace to keep him behind bars.

Scott Park, 40, was ordered released on $5,000 cash after the Court of Queen's Bench bail review.

He is also banned from taking part in any real estate transactions.

Park, a defence lawyer who is also a high-level curler who has played at the provincial championship level, is one of six people charged in a mortgage-fraud case believed to be the largest ever in Alberta.

Meanwhile, one of the other accused, Pedro Brito, 32, is behind bars after turning himself in to police. There had been a warrant issued for his arrest.

Also charged are Gohar Ahmed Pervez, 43, who is alleged to be the kingpin, Harkamaljit Kahlon, 29, Terry Lynn Ellis, a 59-year-old paralegal, and Rodrigo Caroca, 32.

Caroca was earlier released on $5,000 bail.

Police say the mortgage-fraud case involves 142 charges, including one under federal anti-gang laws alleging the fraud was done for the benefit of a criminal organization, and the extent of the alleged fraud is about $30 million.

RCMP Insp. Joe Loran, head of the Integrated Response to Organized Crime in Alberta, said earlier the charges relate to 118 properties in Edmonton and six in Camrose.

"It involves alleged fraud committed in regards to mortgage applications involving a number of financial institutions," said Loran, adding the IROC team has been involved in the investigation since January 2003.

A typical mortgage fraud scheme involves giving a cheap property a far higher mortgage value through trickery or fraud. Ultimately, the unsupported mortgage is assumed by an unsuspecting buyer.

Pervez has been in the news before for buying rundown city homes and turning them over at substantial increases in value, even though some are subsequently again condemned, and many buyers or banks are left holding properties allegedly worth far less than their mortgages.


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