Hamilton

Province yanks mortgage licence from Dennis Khanna to 'protect the public'

A provincial tribunal ruled Tuesday that a Hamilton mortgage broker acted dishonestly, forged documents and preyed on desperate borrowers — and should not be granted another mortgage broker's licence.

Tribunal finds Hamilton former broker showed a 'flagrant predisposition for deceit and dishonesty'

Dinesh (Dennis) Khanna (Hamilton Police Service)

A provincial tribunal ruled Tuesday that a Hamilton mortgage broker acted dishonestly, forged documents and preyed on desperate borrowers — and should not be granted another mortgage broker's licence.

The tribunal found Khanna's reprehensible behaviour served to enrich himself at the expense of borrowers who came to his Hamilton business, Metro Financial Planning, on King Street West.

The provincial regulator took immediate steps to deny his licence and revoke his company's in light of the decision, which relied on evidence of "very serious" misconduct and "significant harm" presented in the Financial Services Tribunal hearing.

He has shown a flagrant predisposition for deceit and dishonesty in every aspect of his business.- Financial Services Tribunal ruling

"He has shown a flagrant predisposition for deceit and dishonesty in every aspect of his business," the tribunal's decision said. "Mr. Khanna's conduct seriously calls into question his integrity, honesty, and law-abiding nature." 

The tribunal's decision said rejecting Khanna's application for a mortgage broker's licence is "the only outcome that will adequately protect the public." 

Meanwhile, Khanna also faces criminal fraud and sexual assault charges. He's next expected in court to set a date for those matters in July. 

'Extensive and very troubling'

The provincial regulator, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, suspended Khanna's licence in December 2015 for what it called a pattern of predatory behaviour against people who had no other option.

An attorney for the regulator called the case the "most egregious" in the history of the Financial Services Tribunal, the quasi-judicial body that deals with licence revocations and appeals for mortgage brokers in Ontario.​

Over the course of the hearings, evidence against Khanna was presented that the tribunal said Tuesday was convincing and cogent. 

  • Some complainants claim they were entered into mortgages without their knowledge.
  • Others ended up owing more than they'd requested.
  • One came home one day to find eviction signs plastered to her doors and windows – printed by Khanna.
  • Another said while her mother was gravely ill, Khanna successfully demanded payments that were "far in excess of what she owed."

And there were at least 10 instances, the tribunal concluded Tuesday, of Khanna forging documents or otherwise falsifying information.

 'He did not demonstrate any remorse.'-  Financial Services Tribunal ruling

"The acts he and [Metro Financial Planning] engaged in were extensive and very troubling. He did not demonstrate any remorse, nor did he acknowledge the extremely serious nature of his many and repeated contraventions of the [law governing brokers]," the three-member panel wrote after nine days of hearings held in Toronto last fall.

"There is no basis for the Tribunal to conclude in the future that he will alter his behaviour and act in compliance."

Khanna's broker licence expired in March 2016 — while it was under suspension. He applied for a new one May 5, so now, instead of having to decide whether Khanna's licence should be revoked, the three-member panel had to decide to grant him a new licence.

In Tuesday's decision, the tribunal denied that application and revoked the existing licence for his company, Metro Financial Planning, Ltd. 

Khanna's attorney at the licencing hearings, Brian Duxbury, did not immediately return an email seeking comment. In the hearings, Duxbury argued that Khanna was providing a service for people who had nowhere else to turn for help.

kelly.bennett@cbc.ca