Canadian Fraud Law

Canadian Fraud Law

Commentary, News and Updates

Courts give the green light for fraud-based class actions in Canadian insolvency proceedings

Michael Nowina Posted in Fraud and Insolvency Law

Both of Canada’s primary insolvency statutes, the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (“BIA”) and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (“CCAA”) provide for an automatic stay of all legal proceedings when an insolvent debtor files for or seeks insolvency protection. The purpose of the stay is to provide breathing space to a debtor attempting to restructure its business so as to avoid “death by a thousand cuts” and also to ensure similarly situated creditors are treated equally. While it is an integral part of Canada’s insolvency regime, the stay of proceedings is not inviolable and there have been a number of noteworthy cases where Canadian courts have considered whether to lift the statutory stay and permit proposed class actions to proceed where the plaintiff has alleged fraud. Continue Reading

2016 Baker & McKenzie Global Data Breach Notification Guide

Michael Nowina Posted in Cybersecurity

Lock (colour)Global data breach notification requirements pose critical issues for legal departments, senior managers, and boards of companies in all industry sectors worldwide. The current environment creates a perfect storm with more data security threats, more vulnerabilities, and more data breach notification requirements. Baker & McKenzie provides this Global Data Breach Notification Guide as a resource for companies to benchmark the ever expanding range of global breach notification requirements. As always, this guide is not a substitute for legal advice, and in the event of an actual or potential incident, companies need to engage qualified counsel to advise on the application of local breach notification and other requirements to their particular circumstances.


“Magic Lady” fails in Constitutional Challenge

Michael Nowina Posted in Investment Fraud

On May 26, 2016, the British Columbia Provincial Court dismissed Rashida Samji’s request for a stay of criminal fraud charges in R v. Samji.  The British Columbia Securities Commission had previously levied an Administrative Monetary Penalty (“AMP”) of $33 million against Samji, in relation to what the British Columbia Securities Commission found was a $100 million Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Samji between 2003 and January 2012. Samji had earned the nickname the “Magic Lady” for the large profits she claimed to generate for clients. Samji argued that the AMP was essentially a criminal penalty and the stigma that she has suffered as a result of media coverage amounted to criminal punishment. In light of the AMP, she argued that the Charter prevented double prosecution under both the Securities Act and Criminal Code. Continue Reading

Court’s contempt power not to be used to coerce payment

David Gadsden Posted in Fraud Recovery

In a recent 2016 decision in Greenberg v. Nowack, Justice Perell of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice dismissed a contempt motion against a stubborn and non-compliant debtor in a judgment debtor examination gone awry. Although sympathetic to the Plaintiffs’ frustration at being unable to recover monies on their  judgement, the Court ruled that imprisoning the debtor would be harsh and ineffectual. Justice Perell made this observation about the contempt motion: Continue Reading

Thawing out an asset freeze

Matt Saunders Posted in Injunctions & Emergency Relief

Thawing assetsOne of the most powerful pre-judgment remedies available to a plaintiff is a Mareva injunction freezing the defendant’s assets before trial. The Mareva injunction is a powerful tool for levelling the playing field when dealing with those who, left to their own devices, would dissipate their assets in order to frustrate the claims of their creditors.  Due to its extraordinary effect, the parties to such an injunction can seek to thaw the freezing order to access funds or assets.  As recent case law has shown, the tests to be met differ for defendants and plaintiffs, and a number of factors ought to be considered before a request is made to thaw assets frozen under a Mareva. Continue Reading