HSBC Bank Canada is suing more than a dozen individuals, several financial institutions and a prominent law firm after a brazen impersonator of a legitimate account holder managed to buy more than $2.2 million in bank drafts at a branch on Kingsway in early January.
The bank filed a notice of civil claim in BC Supreme Court in February. The defendants include the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Bank of Montreal (BMO), the Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD), Vancouver City Savings Credit Union (Vancity), Dentons Canada LLP, Jane Doe, Bing Sun, Jing Yu Xu, Auun Jin a.k.a. Alun Jin, Zhan Chu Jiang, Yanli Lu a.k.a. Yanli Kitty Lu, Majacy Development Corp., Renhao Zhang, Zhao Yi Chao, Hai Xiang Ren, Huifen Lin, Yang Wang, Hou Hong Wen, Fang Wang, Hui Qu, Ping Wu Wang and Zhan Chu Jiang.
According to the claim, defendant Jane Doe attended HSBC’s branch at 2829-4500 Kingsway in Burnaby between January 3 and January 17 where she allegedly fooled the bank into making unauthorized transfers and issuing bank drafts for hundreds of thousands of dollars. HSBC, the claim says, traced the fraudulent transfers to accounts at branches of CIBC, RBC, BMO, TD and Vancity, while also tracing some that allegedly went through a legal trust account held by Dentons. The defendants, HSBC claims, “continue to hold the funds traceable to the scheme.”
The claim does not list addresses for any of the individual defendants but does for Majacy Development Corp., alleged to have received $300,000 from the scheme, with a registered and records office in a condo on the University Endowment Lands at 5639 Hampton Place. In total, the Jane Doe impersonator allegedly defrauded HSBC out of $2,207,043.
“The unauthorized payees failed to make any or any reasonable inquiry and failed to alert either CIBC, RBC, BMO, TD, Dentons or Vancity that any of them had received the Funds in suspicious circumstances,” the claim states.
The allegations have not been tested or proven in court and the defendants had not responded to the lawsuit by press time.