Lawyer accused in fraud case wins new hearing

A lawyer who had his license suspended by the Law Society of Upper Canada, for allegedly participating in mortgage fraud, may soon practice again

Lawyer accused in fraud case wins new hearing
Ottawa-based real estate lawyer Luigi Savone had the Law Society’s 2014 findings overturned. The Law Society alleges Savone played a role in 12 alleged fraudulent real estate purchases between 2000 and 2003.

Savone’s attorney has accused the Law Society of unfairly treating his client, according to Canadian Lawyer Magazine, when it would not consider lender documents presented by Savone before stripping him of his license.

“Lawyers in this province would be similarly disturbed to learn that where the law society is trying to disbar a lawyer in this situation, who only acted for the vendors, the law society is refusing to produce the files for the lawyers of the purchasers and the lenders, despite the fact that they’re clearly relevant and may well contain exculpatory information,” Attorney Brian Radnoff said, according to Canadian Lawyer. “Under their disclosure obligations, which are the Stinchcombe standard, there is no question that they’re required to produce those files.”

Savone’s license was revoked in March after a hearing panel determined he knowingly participated in mortgage fraud. He was also ordered to pay $10,000 in costs.

However, those penalties will not need to be paid while Savone awaits his next disciplinary hearing.
According to the appeal tribunal, “the hearing panel erred in dismissing the motion for disclosure of the files of the lawyers who acted for the other parties. In our view, the transaction files are potentially relevant. Subject to claims of solicitor/client privilege, they ought to have been disclosed, if relevant.”

Radnoff argues there is no evidence Savone was involved in the fraud.

“There was no direct evidence he was involved in any fraud, if there even was any fraud, but the law society’s position is the only proper punishment is disbarment,” Radnoff said, according to Canadian Lawyer.