Fraud is a billion dollar problem with thousands of victims being targeted daily. Fraud schemes include employee fraud, investment fraud, real estate and mortgage fraud, telemarketing fraud, advance-fee loan frauds, credit card fraud, cheque fraud, immigration fraud, romance fraud and cyber fraud.
While most fraud victims go to the police to press criminal charges, the criminal process is slow, is not geared at recovering money, and does not have many of the remedies available through the civil litigation process. These civil remedies include civil injunctions and orders that allow for the seizure of property and evidence right after the fraud has been discovered, at the very start of the litigation process, before such evidence or assets can be destroyed or dissipated. These early civil remedies are critical if the victims are to have any chance of recovering what they lost.
Our lawyers can mobilize quickly to:
identify the fraudsters
In the internet age, the first step in pursuing a remedy is often to determine the true identity of the fraudster. This is pursued through "Norwich orders" which are civil remedies that allow you to obtain identifying information about a fraudster from third party service providers they use such as phone companies, website servers, internet providers, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Our lawyers have extensive experience in pursuing these remedies and, in 2014, we argued Voltage Pictures v. John Doe (2014 FC 161), one of the leading Federal Court cases on identifying persons using their internet protocol (IP) address.
trace and freeze proceeds of fraud
These remedies are unique to the civil litigation process and protect against the dissipation of assets so that there's something to enforce against once you have a judgment.
obtain various civil court orders, including Anton Piller orders (civil search and seizures), Mareva orders (freezing assets) and Norwich orders
obtain injunctions and other orders to shut down fraudulent phone numbers, websites and activity
obtain court orders requiring disclosure and accounting of fraudulent funds
enforce any of the above orders with contempt of court proceeds, which can result in significant fines and jail time for the fraudsters
In 2017, we were successful in sending a defendant fraudster to jail for 6 months for contempt of Court in Scheckel v. Walker. The defendant failed to comply with a Mareva Order and injunction requiring him to account for and disclose what he did with $1.4M of funds he fraudulently received from a victim in the United States on an investment fraud.
work with private investigators, local enforcement and other organizations as necessary, including on a cross-border basis for international frauds.
A successful fraud litigation strategy requires the proper use of a combination of unique remedies to formulate an effective anti-fraud strategy. Our lawyers are highly knowledgeable and experienced in handling fraud actions and our clients rely upon our experience to diligently pursue their interests, mitigate their losses and maximize their recovery.