Breaking Fraud Cases from Canadian Courts
On July 21, 2017, the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto sentenced Mr. Cosimo “Cosmo” Polidoro, date of birth February 12, 1962, of 1861 Una Road, in Pickering, Ontario, to 19 weekends in jail (76 days) related to a real estate scheme he perpetrated on his fellow employees at Bondfield Construction Company Limited and others.
The imposition of a sentence to serve weekends was imposed to because Mr. Polidoro agreed to have his employer, Bondfield Construction Company Limited, pay lawyers for the victims directly a percentage of Mr. Polidoro’s wages. Had the restitution payment agreement not been reached, the Court would have sentenced Mr. Polidoro to 9 months straight time for his contempt of court and deceit.
On July 14, 2016, Justice Dow issued civil judgment against Mr. Polidoro for fraud, breach of trust and fiduciary duty and conversion. Mr. Polidoro had been selling lots of land that did not exist using Ontario Real Estate Association forms and his connection with a ReMax agent. Mr. Polidoro had his victims make payments to a trust account that he said that he operated. When Mr. Polidoro did not deliver in transferring the lots, his fraud became exposed.
Other hooks that Mr. Polidoro used to lure in his victims was his role as a Superintendent with Bondfield Construction, and the use a professional engineer’s designation. His victims simply trusted him based on cultural (Italian) affinity, his stature at Bondfield, his designations and his demeanor. As it turns out, Mr. Polidoro is not an engineer, and his been fined by the Court for his fraudulent use of a professional engineer’s designation Market Wired.
The Order to Account and the Contempt of Court
As part of its judgment, the Court ordered Mr. Polidoro to account for what he did with his victim’s money. Mr. Polidoro refused, which lead to a series of contempt of court motions, resulting in findings of contempt of court for failure to comply with a court ordered accounting to his victims; failure to attend court ordered judgment debtor examinations; failure to produce documents related to his income, expenses and assets, and failure to attend court ordered court appearances.
As a result of his failure to attend court and his court ordered judgment debtor examinations, an arrest warrant was issued. On January 30, 2017, Mr. Polidoro was arrested and forced to attend his judgment debtor examination the following day. At his judgment debtor examination, Mr.
Polidoro testified under oath that he had not attended Court because his father had passed away, and that he intended to pay his debts from the large inheritance he was to receive. There appeared to be assets which the victims thought they could recover from.
Faking his Father’s Death
Mr. Poldoro gave the name of the accountants who were handling his late father’s estate. However, investigation into the names that Mr. Polidoro gave all proved to be false. Mr. Polidoro’s brother was then located, and confirmed that their father was alive and well. It was further learned that Mr. Polidoro is facing criminal charges for similar real estate frauds in Newmarket.
In describing the conduct of Mr. Polidoro lying about his father’s passing, the Court held:
“I find it hard to conceive a more shameless, offensive and disrespectful contempt of court. Such behavior simply cannot be tolerated and must be deterred.”
The Court ruled that this lie alone merits a substantial sentence premised upon the principles of deterrence and denunciation.
The Focus of Civil Contempt Proceedings
The Court noted that civil contempt proceedings should focus on the interests of the Plaintiffs and attempt to ensure they can obtain a reasonable recovery of their judgment. This is the central purpose of the order to account, the judgment debtor examinations, and the court appearances to enforce their creditor rights.
The Court held that it is in the best interests of the victims that Mr. Polidoro continue his employment so that he could continue to make payments to the victims. It is for this reason that Mr. Polidoro’s sentence for his contempt was intermittent and to be served on weekends. The Court also ordered Mr. Polidoro to pay his victims for the costs of the contempt prosecution against him – something not done in the criminal system.
Debtor’s Jail by Another Name
Norman Groot, a lawyer at the fraud recovery firm Investigation Counsel PC, who represented the victims, is of the view that “while debtor’s jail is no longer practiced in Ontario, trading the liberty of a fraudster for restitution to victims is a court sanctioned practice. A fraudster cannot pay if he or she is sitting in jail, but conversely if a fraudster is not to be jailed, he or she should be working for his victims when not in custody.”
Investigation of Polidoro Continuing
The victims intend to continue to pursue Mr. Polidoro. Mr. Polidoro has been working at Bondfield Construction for years, as a superintendent at their TTC projects. He did not need to perpetrate these frauds based on his income. The victims are of the view that Mr. Polidoro simply has not disclosed his assets as he is required to do, and intend to continue to pursue Mr. Polidoro until his debts to them are fully paid.
Weekend Jail to Start August 4, 2017
Remarkably, Mr. Polidoro failed to appear at his sentencing hearing. He advised the Court that he was in Centenary Hospital in Scarborough. Some of his victims thought he was at a TTC job site for Bondfield Construction. These matters are currently being investigated. Rather than delay the sentencing proceeding, the Court ordered Mr. Polidoro to surrender himself to jail starting on Friday, August 4, 2017. This delay in commencing sentencing means that Mr. Polidoro should be in jail over Christmas and New Years.
Public Reporting of Assets of Cosimo Poidoro
To confidentially report on assets of Cosimo Polidoro, contact Daina Slenys at Investigation Counsel PC, fraud recovery lawyers, at 416-637-3151 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the full Reasons for Sentence related to this story, see: Boroni ats Polidoro, 2017 ONSC 4447 (237095).Reasons for Judgment - Polidoro - June 28 and July 21 2017 (I0237095xB96A8)
For further information on this case, or any other fraud recovery inquiry, contact Canadian Fraud News Inc.