Embattled broker David Douglas launches legal challenge
Real estate broker David Douglas says his rights were violated during a search of his home
Real estate broker David Douglas has launched a challenge under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms arguing his rights were violated when police searched his house last month seizing files and computers.
Court documents suggest that on the morning of March 4, RCMP officers with search warrants simultaneously searched Douglas’s house on Old River Road in the RM of St. Clements and another residence on Henderson Highway in Winnipeg.
Douglas’s court application under the Charter seeks to quash the two search warrants and recover all property seized. It also seeks to prevent the court from proceeding with prosecutions described in the warrants.
Douglas is facing a hearing before the Manitoba Securities Commission on April 23 to determine whether to cancel his registration as a broker under the Real Estate Brokers Act.
Last October, CBC news reported more than 20 people are trying to recoup money totalling in the millions from Douglas and his companies.
Douglas had promoted his seminars Building Wealth From Real Estate, which was meant to show people how to buy and renovate homes and then sell them for a profit.
The warrants say police have reason to believe Douglas committed six counts of fraud in 2012 and 2013.
Three financial institutions -- B2B Bank, Sun Mortgage Corporation and the Royal Bank of Canada -- are among the parties named in the warrants as the alleged victims of fraud.
Douglas’s registration had been suspended last month pending the outcome of the hearing.
The stated grounds for the application under the Charter are that “the search warrants are expressly directed to the search and seizure of legal correspondence of the applicant, which is solicitor client privileged, and are an excess of the jurisdiction of the Provincial Court,” the application said.
Douglas’s lawyer Ian Histed told CBC News he had no comment beyond what is in the application.
Douglas’ application further says, “Irreversible prejudice is accruing to the applicant due to the loss of the ability to access the documents seized.”
In an affidavit sworn on April 7, Douglas said the digital storage devices seized contain extensive correspondence between him and a list of 17 lawyers, one of whom is now a provincial court judge.
In his affidavit, Douglas also said he is unable to properly defend himself from the action by the Manitoba Securities Commission because many of his documents and all of his digital files are in possession of the RCMP.
RCMP said the investigation is ongoing, and Douglas has not been charged with any offence.
None of the allegations in the search warrant document have been proven.