Fraudster’s jail sentence highlights valuable lesson

by REP14 Dec 2015
The industry remains in shock after Bill Parsons, the infamous criminal who oversaw one of the biggest real estate fraud scandals in Canada, was released from prison after serving a mere six months of his three year sentence.
Parsons was granted bail after he successfully passed all requirements of his bail in the two-year span after he was charged, according to CBC News.
While the decision to grant parole remains controversial, his actions will forever serve as a valuable lesson for real estate professionals: always conduct thorough and comprehensive due diligence on referral partners before engaging in business with them.
Earlier this year, Parsons pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud over $5,000, a plea deal from the 40 fraud charges he initially faced.
Persons, a former lawyer for the once-prominent real estate developing firm Myles-Legér, admitted to sending clients’ money that had been set aside as “in trust” from real estate closings to the company, in order to help alleviate its financial troubles.
Although it started out as a minor advance of funds, it soon escalated to a much more pervasive ordeal. Between 2000 and 2004, Parsons directed $5 million to the organization - $1.3 million of which remains unaccounted for today.
Parsons claims that he felt obligated to help Bill Clarke, who feared losing his residence.  The Parole Board of Canada was not sympathetic. 
"You were unable to deal effectively with a problematic client, who requested that you breach professional rules and regulations as it pertains to your trust account; you offended as a result," ir ruled.
Parsons is on longer able to practice law or oversee anybody else’s finances.

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