Losses in condo fraud could total more than $12 million, police say
WATCH ABOVE: An arrest has been made in the massive condo fraud case in Toronto to talking millions. But victims are still wondering whether their money will ever be found. Cindy Pom reports
TORONTO – A Toronto lawyer is facing 75 charges in connection to a multi-million dollar condo fraud investigation.
Meerai Cho represented the developer involved in the “Centrium” project — a hotel, condo and retail tower to be built at Yonge and Finch — which fell through earlier this year.
The developer then disappeared and so did the down payments of potentially hundreds of people.
Cho later declared bankruptcy — though she was never supposed to touch the money.
Police said the development seemed like a legitimate project and wasn’t just a front for fraud.
“From what I can see, from the planning went in from the city of Toronto, some of the paperwork, this was beyond just being a scam,” Toronto Police Detective Constable Chris Devereaux said. “It looks like it was going to be a development, for whatever reason it just collapsed.”
Devereux said only 25 people have come forward thus far but they think more than 100 could have been defrauded.
He added that there could be more than $12 million in losses.
A motion filed to suspend Cho’s law license said “there are reasonable grounds to believe that Meerai Cho has mishandled and lost approximately $14.9 million in deposit monies paid to her, in trust.”
But police can’t say whether the money is still in Canada.
The Law Society of Upper Canada will decide today in a hearing whether to suspend her license.
Cho was released from police custody Tuesday and is expected to appear in court October.