Former Liberal MP Raj Grewal charged with fraud, breach of trust

Former Liberal MP Raj Grewal is facing criminal charges of breach of trust and fraud.

RCMP issued a statement announcing charges on Friday that allege Grewal broke the law by failing to report millions of dollars in personal loans that he had received.

“It is further alleged that Mr. Grewal solicited loans for his own personal benefit in connection with the use of his public office, and that he administered his government-funded constituency office budget for his own personal benefit, under circumstances which constituted a criminal fraud or breach of trust,” the RCMP says in a statement.

Grewal faces four counts of breach of trust and one count of fraud over $5,000.

RCMP said the laying of the charges marks the end of “an extensive criminal investigation which first began in September 2017, after the RCMP received proactive disclosures from the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) regarding suspicious transactions involving Mr. Grewal during his time in office.”

He is scheduled to appear in an Ottawa court on Oct. 6, 2020.

 

Grewal came under intense scrutiny in November 2018 after he abruptly announced his resignation.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office said at the time Grewal had informed them that he was undergoing treatment for “a gambling problem that led him to incur significant personal debts.”

While Grewal had initially indicated he would resign as a member of Parliament, he reversed course in December 2018, insisting he would stay on.

He sent in a video to the Globe and Mail newspaper at the time, saying he had accumulated  “millions of dollars” in debt by playing blackjack at a casino not far from Parliament Hill.

He said that debt has been fully repaid, but questions remained including among members of the Liberal cauucs about where the money originally came from and how it might’ve been paid back.

He announced he was leaving the Liberal caucus and sitting as an independent in January 2019. He did not run in the 2019 federal election.

Grewal is the second former Liberal MP to face criminal charges in recent months.

Kitchener South—Hespeler MP Marwan Tabbara was charged with assault, break and enter and commit an indictable offence and criminal harassment in a separate case in the spring.

He subsequently quit caucus and is sitting as an independent MP.

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