A recent article in the Toronto Star about a property manager who bilked several condo corporations out of a total of $20 million dollars made the paper's front page headlines. It is alleged that the property manager defrauded one condo corporation by registering a bogus borrowing by-law on title, which enabled the manager to then borrow three million dollars against the property. Another condo corporation was the victim of a fraudulent bid for major repair work on the condominium. It is alleged that a corporation controlled by the manager submitted the lowest bid, but once the work started the contract price escalated, while the work was done by a subcontractor for half of the bid price. Apparently the manager was able to land the management contracts with the condo corporations by submitting bids that were lower than the others.
What can a condo corporation do to protect itself from fraud by its manager?
• Do thorough reference checks on all parties that the corporation is engaging, including the manager. Relying on personal impressions is risky. Fraudsters are frequently masters at schmoozing their victims.
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