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 Thawing out an asset freeze

On May 30, 2014, Mr. Justice Richard Danyliuk of the Saskatchewan Queen’s Bench sentenced Ronald Fast to seven years in prison for fraud and ordered him to pay restitution of $16.7 million. Fast’s daughter, Danielle Fast-Carlson, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay $1 million in restitution arising out of the same circumstances.
Continue Reading Conviction in investment fraud case leads to jail time for father and daughter


The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has begun discussions with legislators and law enforcement agencies in an effort to expand its powers to include wiretapping rights with respect to parties under investigation.

As the country’s largest and most influential securities regulator, the OSC’s policies and decisions impact the majority of brokerages, mutual funds, and pension funds in the country.  In recent years the OSC has placed emphasis on the need for more comprehensive anti-fraud and law enforcement strategies.
Continue Reading Provincial securities regulator seeks expanded powers to combat fraud and insider trading

How do you uncover a suspected fraud when you cannot obtain any information from the suspected fraudster in the first place? And what do you do if the suspected fraudster has avoided complying with a court order to produce documents? One under-utilized strategy is to seek to appoint a receiver over the books and records of the alleged fraudster.
Continue Reading Strategy for uncovering a suspected fraud

In Wolf v Anstett, 2012 ONSC 3220, a creditor used section 5 of the Assignment and Preferences Act (the Ontario provincial legislation which may be applied to set aside transactions made by an insolvent person or a “person in contemplation of insolvency”, with an intent to give an unjust preference to a creditor) and Rule 16.08(16) of the Rules of Civil Procedure[i] to halt a would-be fraudster from attempting to thwart a previous judgment by using a newly incorporated entity to receive payments that should have went to the plaintiff.
Continue Reading Attempt to thwart a previous judgment through a related corporate entity found to be preference under the Assignment and Preferences Act

In Century Services Inc. v. New World Engineering Corp., the Ontario Superior Court of Justice held that defendants – found liable for having bilked investors out of $20 million – could not claim contribution and indemnity from their lawyers and the lenders in their scheme.  This, despite the fact that the Court concluded that the lenders – and at least a few of the solicitors involved – failed to carry out their due diligence responsibilities.
Continue Reading Club promotors found liable for fraud cannot claim indemnities from third parties

In Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp v. Gray (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp v. Gray, 2013 ONSC 1986), the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (“CMHC”), the insurer of mortgages, attempted to block the release of a mortgage debt from a bankrupted individual who was a victim of a fraudulent scheme, but in CMCH’s view, was either aware of the scheme or that he was reckless and/or willfully blind to the scheme.
Continue Reading When would silence or non-disclosure of material facts amount to fraudulent misrepresentation?