RCMP search Fortress office in mortgage fraud probe, sources say

TORONTO — Canada’s federal police searched the office of real estate firm Fortress Real Developments on Friday as part of an investigation into mortgage fraud, two sources with direct knowledge of the investigation told Reuters.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police confirmed it had searched offices but declined to name the company involved.

“We can confirm that the RCMP Integrated Market Enforcement Team carried out six search warrants in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) relating to an investigation into syndicated mortgage fraud,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Penny Herman said.

Fortress could not immediately be reached for comment.

Ontario’s financial regulator in February revoked the license of mortgage brokerage Building Development and Mortgages Canada Inc (BDMC) following an investigation into the sale of syndicated mortgage investments to fund Fortress projects. Fortress’ co-founder Vince Petrozza also had his license revoked.

In a special report published in November, Reuters revealed that the Canadian province’s regulator had been investigating brokers raising funds for projects associated with Fortress since 2011 but had failed to take action despite repeated warnings that the marketing of the risky investments broke provincial laws.

© Thomson Reuters 2018

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