Recently Canadian singer Alanis Morissette became the latest well-publicized victim of fraud at the hands of one she employed and trusted: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/36316327. She joins a long list of celebrities who have suffered fraud at the hands of those employed to trust, amongst them the Beatles, Beyoncé, David Bowie, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Elvis, the Rolling Stones.
Continue Reading Jagged Little Pill: What “You Oughta Know” Regarding Agency Fraud

According to Statistics Canada, 84% of Canadians aged 15 and over, or just under 24 million people, reported making at least one financial donation to a charitable or non-profit organization when the last survey on gift giving was conducted in 2010. With over $10 billion in yearly donations, it is unsurprising that there are those that seek to take advantage of Canadians’ spirit of giving. In a recent sentencing decision, R v Raza, 2016 BCSC 1030, the British Columbia Supreme Court sentenced two brothers, Fareed Raza and Saheem Raza, to over four (4) years for their roles in orchestrating a charitable donation scheme.
Continue Reading Court rules “culpability is not a finite” in charitable donation scheme

Ponzi schemes and other fraudulent arrangements that operate on a large scale often involve complex networks of activities, actors, and funds transfers. Given the number of players that may be required to bring about such a scheme, the tort of civil conspiracy provides a potential means for recovery for fraud victims.

The elements of civil conspiracy: Simple motive or unlawful means?

As outlined in the Supreme Court of Canada’ decision in Canada Cement LaFarge Ltd. v. British Columbia Lightweight Aggregate Ltd. civil conspiracy in Canada is comprised of two related but distinct categories.  The first category is the “lawful means” or “simple motive” conspiracy, and the second is the “unlawful means” or “unlawful conduct” conspiracy.
Continue Reading Using the tort of civil conspiracy

The Federal Court of Appeal’s decision in Condon v. The Queen, 2015 FCA 159 (“Condon“), released July 6, 2015, has significant implications for organizations that have experienced large scale data breaches. The Federal Court of Appeal upheld the decision by the Federal Court to certify a class action lawsuit based on the recently developed tort of intrusion upon seclusion (i.e. breach of privacy) and breach of contract and warranty. However, the Federal Court of Appeal also expanded the certification to include claims of negligence and breach of confidence. The lower court had found the failure to allege specific damages arising from the data breach to be fatal to the negligence and breach of confidence claims, but the Federal Court of Appeal reversed the lower court on this point.
Continue Reading The Widening Scope of Data Breach Class Actions

The distribution and sale of counterfeit goods in Canada, such as counterfeit banknotes, pharmaceutical products and luxury items, has been a growing threat impacting Canadian businesses and consumers.  This prompted the introduction of Bill C-8, the Combating Counterfeit Products Act  (the “Act”), which received Royal Assent on December 9, 2014.  The Act aims to reduce the sale of counterfeit goods and bring Canada in line with international standards in trying to stop counterfeit products from crossing international borders.
Continue Reading Fighting importation of counterfeit products into Canada

On February 3, 2015, the Ontario Securities Commission (the “OSC“) released a staff consultation paper which outlines a proposed framework for an OSC Whistleblower Program. The program seeks to encourage individuals to report serious breaches of Ontario securities law, that would not otherwise come to the OSC’s attention.


Continue Reading The OSC Proposes a Framework for a New Whistleblower Program

Under section 380.1(1) and (1.1) of the Criminal Code, courts are required to consider the following non-exhaustive list of factors as being aggravating circumstances in the context of fraud:

  • significant magnitude, complexity, duration or degree of planning of the fraud;
  • an actual or potential adverse effect on the Canadian economy or financial system, or on investor confidence;
  • large numbers of victims, particularly if the fraud had a significant impact due to the victims’ personal circumstances;
  • failure to comply with applicable professional standards;
  • concealment or destruction of documents related to the fraud; and
  • whether the total value of fraud exceeds one million dollars.
    Continue Reading Imprisonment for Ponzi Schemes: How long is long enough?
Source: Thinkstock

As part of Fraud Prevention Month, the RCMP is rolling out tip sheets to help Canadians protect themselves against an ever-growing number of scams and frauds including a list of Top 10 Cyber Crime Prevention Tips.  Many of these tip sheets highlight the role of technology in fraudulent schemes and the importance of ensuring that personal information remains secure and confidential.  For example, the RCMP warns against various forms of online shopping fraud, such as where fraudsters sell products at deeply discounted prices so they can steal the personal information and payment card details of unsuspecting buyers. 
Continue Reading Cyber crime is a growing threat