The trial of two men charged with defrauding Muslim homeowners got underway in Toronto courtroom this week with the Crown accusing the defendants of bilking their clients of millions of dollars.
Omar Kalair and co-accused Yusuf Panchbhaya are standing trial in Ontario Superior Court on numerous charges, including fraud, theft over 5,000 dollars, and laundering the proceeds of crime. They have both pleaded not guilty.
This is Kalair's second trial on these charges. His first was adjourned in November 2017 after he fired his lawyer.
Federal prosecutor Damien Frost told Madame Justice Jane Ferguson, who is presiding over the judge-alone trial, that Kalair's company United Muslim Financial (UMF) had "failed fairly spectacularly" by the time it went into receivership in October 2011.