Two more B.C. mortgage brokers alleged to have worked with illegal shadow lender

Brokers Grant Brian Curtis and Tanya Ann Smith allegedly worked with unregistered B.C. broker Dean Frank James Walford

A second unregistered mortgage broker with prior enforcement records has allegedly set up loans alongside registered mortgage brokers, according to the B.C. Registrar of Mortgages. It is the second such case in as many months.

Chris Carter, the acting registrar at the Financial Institutions Commission (FICOM), announced Thursday that his agency has issued a notice of hearing to Dean Frank James Walford for setting up mortgages in an unregistered capacity with assistance from registered submortgage brokers Grant Brian Curtis and Tanya Ann Smith (who have also been issued hearing notices).

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The notices do not state how many mortgages Curtis and Smith accepted individually. Walford’s notice claims he and Loan Depot Canada – a former registered lender in Nova Scotia also named as a notice respondent – submitted 90 B.C. mortgage applications to lenders on behalf of borrowers.

Walford is also accused of submitting documents that were later determined “not to be authentic and which resulted in economic loss to the lender.”

Carter notes the brokers should have been aware of a 2014 industry alert about Walford, following a cease and desist order against him for acting in an unregistered capacity in B.C. with Canada Loan Depot in 2011.

Walford’s notice notes there is a LinkedIn account for a Dean Walford from Roberts Creek. The account claims Walford is a “Motgage [sic] alternative specialist.”

Walford is a past vice-president of the Gibsons and District Chamber of Commerce. Smith is registered with Dominion Lending Centres Mountain View Ltd., according to FICOM’s directory. Curtis’s name does not show up in the directory but his LinkedIn profile notes he “makes mortgages effortless” while also working for cannabis firm Glen Valley Cannabis Ltd. Glacier Media could not reach Walford or Smith for comment.

Curtis told Glacier Media he “purchased leads from an unreputable source” and “will go through the process of having my council represent.”

Hearings will be held for the trio, at a date to be determined, to address the allegations, which have not been proven by an independent adjudication panel.

“Unregistered mortgage brokers place consumers at risk, including the possible misuse of their personal information. Registered mortgage brokers who enable this activity undermine public confidence in the mortgage broker industry,” noted a FICOM press release.

“If proven, individuals conducting or facilitating unregistered mortgage broker business can receive administrative sanctions, which may include financial penalties up to a maximum of $50,000 plus investigation and hearing costs.”

Last month, Carter announced a major investigation is underway into registered brokers operating in unregulated capacities with unregistered brokers.

Jay Chaudhary, a previously suspended registered broker turned unregistered Vancouver mortgage broker, may have arranged over half a billion dollars ($511 million) in loans, many of which could be based on falsified income records, according to a cease and desist order issued by FICOM May 30.

The order against Chaudhary claims his unregistered mortgage activities involved at least 20 registered mortgage brokers and real estate licensees to whom he referred his borrowers.

Documents obtained by investigators indicate Chaudhary may have worked on 875 files that generated $5.28 million in client fees and $642,344 in referral fees “paid by the registered submortgage brokers who submitted the applications to lenders on his behalf,” according to the order.

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