Nova Scotia

Yarmouth lawyer facing professional conduct hearing

A Yarmouth lawyer who handled transactions in an alleged case of mortgage fraud is facing a disciplinary hearing into his professional conduct.

A Yarmouth lawyer who handled transactions in an alleged case of mortgage fraud is facing a disciplinary hearing into his professional conduct, CBC News has learned.  

Raymond Jacquard was investigated by the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society, the self-governing body that oversees lawyers in the province.  

Executive director Darrel Pink said Tuesday that there was enough evidence to proceed with charges under the Legal Profession Act.

"A report was provided to the complaints investigation committee, which reviewed it and determined that the evidence could support a finding of professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming, and directed that charges be laid," said Pink.

The society won't say why it started to look into Jacquard's activities, nor will it divulge specifics of the charges he faces.

CBC News has learned that Jacquard first came to the attention of authorities during a police investigation into an alleged mortgage fraud scheme in southwest Nova Scotia.  

The case began in 2008 when the Nova Scotia Real Estate Commission noticed some suspicious transactions in the Yarmouth area.  

A year later, banks started foreclosing on more than 24 apartment buildings after the owners stopped making payments. Nearly 200 renters were forced out of their units.  

In June, 10 people were charged with 146 counts of fraud and forgery, while one was charged with obstructing a police officer.  

They're accused of taking part in a scheme that police allege involved falsifying real estate listings and inflating appraisals to generate more than $6 million in mortgages.  

Jacquard, the lawyer who handled many of the transactions, was not among those charged.

The society's hearing, following its own investigation, is scheduled for next May and June.

Jacquard has a private practice in Yarmouth. One of his clients is the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth. He declined to speak to CBC News.