Lawyer faces fraud charges

…Barrie-area lawyer is accused of fraudulently mortgaging the home of one of his employees to the tune of $160,000. Myles McLellan, 51, of Innisfil is facing eight criminal charges including forgery and criminal breach of trust…

The Toronto Star
September 28, 2006

Lawyer faces fraud charges
Accused of a $160,000 mortgage scheme. Prominent Barrie-area man faces eight counts.
Roberta Avery

BARRIE—A prominent Barrie-area lawyer is accused of fraudulently mortgaging the home of one of his employees to the tune of $160,000.

Myles McLellan, 51, of Innisfil is facing eight criminal charges including forgery and criminal breach of trust in connection with a fraudulent mortgage scheme against a Toronto mortgage company, said a South Simcoe Police Service news release.

McLellan appeared briefly in court yesterday before being released on bail. A publication ban was imposed on the bail proceedings.

The police say a $160,000 mortgage was fraudulently registered against the home of one of McLellan's employees without the knowledge or consent of that employee.

McLellan, who, according to his company's website, is a former commissioner of police for the Town of Innisfil, runs a discount legal service called the Law Store with offices in Barrie and Innisfil. It offers cut-rate legal fees for such services as title transfer, mortgage refinancing and new home purchases.

McLellan, who was called to the bar in 1980, and lists under his achievements being an instructor for the Law Society of Upper Canada, is a lawyer in good standing with the society, according to a law society spokesperson.

McLellan's arrest Tuesday came the same day Tory MPP Joe Tascona (Barrie-Simcoe-Bradford) introduced a private member's bill aimed at protecting homeowners from real estate fraud. But Government Services Minster Gerry Phillips plans to introduce a bill this fall to cure a glaring defect in Ontario law. Currently, the law provides that fraudulent property transactions based on bogus mortgages, land transfers and powers of attorney are considered lawful by the courts as soon as they are registered under the land titles system.

Although McLellan lists his business as McLellan Associates Barristers and Solicitors, a woman who answered the telephone at McLellan's Barrie office said no other lawyers work for the company. McLellan's website also lists him as the editor of the Canadian Journal of Family Law, but Michael Lee of the Vancouver-based journal said McLellan hasn't been the editor for more than 20 years. The website listed him in 2005 as a member of the advisory board.

McLellan has been ordered to return to court in Barrie Oct. 2.


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