Calgary

Mortgage fraud difficult to spot: Mountie

Mortgage fraud is one of the toughest to spot and investigate, an RCMP officer with experience in the field says.

Mortgage fraud is one of the toughest to spot and investigate, an RCMP officer with experience in the field says.

Court proceedings are underway in what could be the largest case of mortgage fraud in Canadian history. The Bank of Montreal is suing hundreds of people in connection with a scheme it maintains generated at least $140 million, including about $70 million in phoney mortgages.

Sgt. Conal Archer of the RCMP's commercial crime unit says mortgage fraud is highly sophisticated.

"I think they're very challenging [cases]," Archer told CBC News.

"We have a number of issues. First of all, we have real estate agents to interview, mortgage brokers to interview, bankers to interview. And then we have a mortgage file to review — and it's a huge documentary evidence file that we have to review and it can take years to investigate."

The RCMP is not formally investigating the BMO lawsuit but investigators are reviewing the legal documents to determine whether there was a conscious intention to commit fraud.