Top-selling Sask. realtors faked paperwork to get mortgages approved for clients, police say
A fraud scheme involving fake documents used to qualify for a mortgage has been linked to two former Saskatoon real estate agents.
Kamanashis Deb is facing 17 counts of fraud and Debashis Deb is facing two counts. Royal LePage Varsity recognized the two realtors as top selling agents in September.
Police said the falsified documents were provided to three different Saskatoon banks under the names of their clients.
The documents included letters of employment, pay stubs and T4s.
The mortgage applications would not have been approved without the falsified documents, according to police.
Chris Guérette, CEO of the Saskatchewan Realtors Association (SRA), called the alleged actions “absolutely unacceptable.”
Kamanashis Deb’s SRA membership ended in December and Debashis Deb’s ended this month.
“These are two former realtors. They no longer are members of our association,” Chris Guérette, CEO of the SRA, told CTV News.
“But even despite all that, I think it still, unfortunately, in the public eye paints a negative brush on the entire industry … and I think that's really unfortunate because it's a profession with very high standards.”
Guérette said realtors must renew their licence each year and adhere to a code of ethics.
The investigation began two years ago, after police received a report that falsified banking documents were submitted with several mortgage applications.
Police said eight applications with false documents were discovered at one financial institution.
The other nine charges followed search warrants executed on Palliser Court, McClocklin Road and 8th Street East.
In January, Debashis Deb turned himself in at Saskatoon Police headquarters, where he was arrested.
Two months later, Kamanashis Deb did the same thing.
None of the allegations have been tested in court.
As the investigation unfolds, police say more charges could be laid.
MORE CASES OF FRAUD AMID A SELLERS MARKET
Chirag Mehta, the director of operations at True North Mortgage, said he’s seeing more mortgage fraud attempts.
“On the lender side, we’ve started seeing an influx of those fraudulent files. We were able to catch them and stop them in the very beginning of the process,” Meta told CTV News.
Mehta said he’s heard of realtors selling fraudulent documents, so clients can qualify for a mortgage.
“Some people may even charge a fee to get those documents, and then get paid from the lender as a commission,” he explained.
Mehta said mortgage fraud not only hurts the lender, but the entire real estate market by potentially increasing competition and property prices.
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