Former fund industry executive David Singh was convicted of several securities offences by a judge in the Ontario Court of Justice.
The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) announced that Singh, former head of fund dealer Fortune Financial Corp., was convicted on one count each of fraud, trading without registration, and trading without a prospectus.
The charges stem from OSC allegations that two syndicated mortgage companies owned by Singh — Rockfort Mortgage Investment Corp. and Greenview Capital Mortgage Investment Corp. — sold $5.5-million worth of securities to investors without registration or a prospectus, and that investors were ultimately defrauded, since their money was never actually invested in any mortgages.
In her decision, Justice Mara Greene said, “I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Singh held out his companies as mortgage investment corporations, took money from investors on the pre-text of investing in mortgages but then failed to do so.”
Greene noted that “Mr. Singh hired a number of staff to search out investors but appears to have not created any mechanism of finding properties to mortgage and when presented with an opportunity to fund a mortgage he did not.”
Finally, in judging him guilty of fraud, the judge said, “I am satisfied that Mr. Singh deceived his investors, that this deception led to the loss of funds by the investors (as was testified to by a number of the investors) and that he knew he was being deceitful and knew that his investors would lose money if he did not fund some mortgages.”
In 2000 the OSC sanctioned Singh for supervisory failures in his role as head of Fortune Financial.
Alongside the conviction, the judge dismissed claims that Singh’s charter rights were violated as it took three-and-a-half years to complete his trial — well above the 18 months judged as reasonable by the Supreme Court of Canada.
In this case, the court found that the time it took for trial would have come in under the 18-month threshold had it not been for the delays caused by the defence and the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which temporarily shut down criminal trials in Ontario.
Singh’s next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 19 to set a date for a sentencing hearing.