Summary judgment of an action may only be granted when there is no genuine issue requiring a trial and this can be difficult to prove in fraud cases where credibility is often an important factor. In the recent Ontario Superior Court decision in MacNamara v. 2087850 Ontario Ltd. (Strathcona Construction), 2017 ONSC 499, Justice Akbarali granted summary judgment finding both fraud and grounds to pierce the corporate veil of a corporate defendant. This case demonstrates how liability for even the most serious causes of action can be established by way of summary judgment where a full evidentiary record allows the Court to find the necessary facts, apply the law, and determine that there is no genuine issue for trial.
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Canada has formally repealed its exception for “facilitation payments” under its foreign anti-corruption legislation (the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act).

Canada’s anti-bribery law prohibits anyone from giving or offering a loan, reward, advantage or benefit of any kind — directly or through intermediaries — to a foreign public official as consideration for an act or omission by the latter to obtain or retain a business advantage.
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Two recent decisions of the Ontario Superior Court demonstrate the willingness of Canadian judges to find fraud on the basis of material omissions in both civil and criminal cases. In Midland Resources Holding Limited v. Shtaif, 2017 ONCA 320, 135 O.R. (3d) 481 and R. v. Fontana, 2016 ONSC 707,  omissions by the defendants were found to constitute fraudulent conduct.

Civil Fraud: Midland Resources Holding Limited v. Shtaif

In Midland Resources Holding Limited v. Shtaif, the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that the tort of deceit or fraudulent misrepresentation may:

 involve not only an overt statement of fact, but also certain kinds of silence: the half-truth or representation that is practically false, not because of what is said, but because of what is left unsaid.


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Squares threeIn 2014, we reported on the Ontario Superior Court of Justice’s decision in Indcondo Building Corporation v. Sloan (“Indcondo“), which strengthened the position of plaintiffs seeking to set aside fraudulent conveyances in Ontario. In the Indcondo case, Mr. Justice Penny analyzed the substantive test for establishing fraudulent conveyance and in particular the demonstration of whether a defendant had the requisite intent to defeat creditors or others. 
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Square Rect - red and greyThe decision in SFC Litigation Trust (Trustee of) v. Chan, 2017 ONSC 1815 represents a step toward a more flexible approach when our courts are asked to consider whether a Mareva injunction should be granted. In this case, the appellant, Mr. Chan, the former Chief Executive Officer of Sino-Forest Corporation (“SFC”), appealed an order confirming a Worldwide Mareva injunction that had been granted against him, ex parte.

SFC was a Canadian corporation and had an office in Ontario, a head office in Hong Kong, and assets predominately located in China. It carried out a sale process through the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, R.S.C. 1985 c. C-36 (the “CCAA”), which ultimately failed.  SFC then applied under the CCAA for an order approving a plan of compromise and reorganization, which was subsequently sanctioned.  A Litigation Trust was assigned the litigation rights of SFC.
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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.
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In DBDC Spadina Ltd et al v Norma Walton et al, Justice Newbould of the Ontario Superior Court recently granted a motion for summary judgment on the basis that there was sufficient evidence to justify a finding of fraud. The decision reflects the guidance set out in the landmark Supreme Court Canada decision Hyrniak v. Mauldin, 2014 SCC 7, which recognized that the adjudicative process can be fair and just without requiring the expense and delay of a trial.
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