A former Royal Bank of Canada employee and three other Toronto-area residents have been charged with fraud after allegedly raising about $10.5 million through a business loan scheme.
The charges were announced Friday by Ontario’s Serious Fraud Office, a unit made up of police and prosecutors, which was created in 2019 to prosecute white-collar crimes. The bureau said it launched its investigation in January 2021.
Investigators allege the former bank manager worked with others to solicit ‘unwilling borrowers’ to apply for loans under the government-backed Canada Small Business Loan. which helps small businesses make leasehold improvements. False rental contracts and invoices were allegedly created to ensure that the loans were accepted.
Once the loans were approved, investigators say, most of the funds went to vendors directly associated with the former bank manager, for work that was never completed.
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Dillon Nanavati, 37, of North York, was charged with fraud over $5,000 and uttering a false document. Edith Galinaitis, a spokesperson for RBC, confirmed that Mr. Nanavati worked for the bank. According to a LinkedIn profile associated with his name, he was a senior account manager there for two years, between 2013 and 2015.
Ms. Galinaitis said the alleged conduct occurred after Mr. Nanavati’s employment with RBC ended. “We take allegations of fraud seriously and RBC does not tolerate any violation of the law. We reported this matter to the police in January 2021 and cooperated with them,” she added.
The other three defendants are residents of Scarborough: Aggash Mohan, 25; Nicksain Kalaimathian, 29; and Jonnystan Amirtharatnam, 26. All three are charged with fraud over $5,000.
The defendants are scheduled to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice on May 31.
Under the Criminal Code of Canada, those convicted of fraud over $5,000 face up to 14 years in prison, with a minimum of two years if the amount exceeds $1 million. Falsification of documents is punishable by up to 10 years.
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