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Real estate lawyer pleads guilty in $15M North York condo scam

Last Updated Feb 23, 2017 at 6:41 pm EDT

A Toronto lawyer has pleaded guilty in a North York condo scam that bilked investors of nearly $15 million in deposits.

Meerai Cho was the real estate lawyer handling the deposits of at least 141 people for pre-construction units at 5220 and 5254 Yonge St., south of Finch Avenue. The deposits for residential and commercial units ranged anywhere from $40,000 to $700,000.

When the project was cancelled, Cho didn’t return the deposits.

She was arrested in August 2014 and charged with a number of offences. Police also raided the former offices of Centrust Development Group.

Cho was eventually charged with 142 counts of fraud over $5,000, 142 counts of possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000 and another 142 counts of breach of trust.

On Wednesday, Cho, 66, pleaded guilty to one count of criminal breach of trust and was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in custody. All of the other counts were withdrawn.

The Law Society of Upper Canada has set up a compensation fund for victims.