The Toronto Police Financial Crimes Unit says it is no longer investigating Heydary Hamilton PC in relation to missing client funds.
Det. Chris Dionne told Legal Feeds, “there is no investigation at this time” after police spoke with Hasan Abuzour, who is missing $3.6 million once held in trust for him by Heydary Hamilton.
The Law Society of Upper Canada confirmed Javad Heydary, the sole director of Heydary Hamilton, is dead after he departed for Iran while being investigated for missing funds, but the legitimacy of his death is still in question.
Mark Adilman, counsel for Abuzour, says his client spoke to police and was told the investigation would not proceed “unless there was some indication that Mr. Heydary is alive.”
Adilman told Superior Court Justice Julie Thorburn on Jan. 23 that his client doubts Heydary is in fact deceased. On that day, Thorburn adjourned the matter so counsel could consider the next steps in confirming Heydary’s death, including through forensic evidence if necessary.
Meanwhile, the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by Heydary Hamilton yesterday after no one appeared in court to represent the firm. In that case, Heydary Hamilton PC v. Dil Muhammad, the law firm sued a former client and its new lawyer for breach of contract and “interference with economic relations.”
On Jan. 24, counsel for Heydary Hamilton removed himself from the case because he was unable to receive instructions from his client, the appeal court said in a ruling yesterday.
“The appellant has known the appeal would come on for hearing today since November 22, 2013, when the appeal was scheduled. The appellant had notice of its counsel’s intention to be removed from the record,” the court said. “If the appellant wished to proceed with this appeal, it could have attended today to request an adjournment. It did not.”
A law society report on Heydary Hamilton’s financial records found the firm repeatedly transferred trust funds to a general account, which paid for its operational expenses. The firm’s revenue was “nowhere near sufficient” to afford its $500,000 monthly operational expense, the report said.
“These transfers, which exceed 2.7 million dollars, were the major source of inappropriate withdraws of trust funds throughout this period,” stated the LSUC report.
Two sources tell Legal Feeds Heydary Hamilton had to cover the remaining cost of the lease for its former University Avenue offices when it moved to a larger space on the 45th floor of the TD Centre at 66 Wellington St. A space sources say barely had anyone working in it.
[em]Read more in Law Times:
Trust transfers covered major revenue shortfall at Heydary Hamilton, report finds [/em]
Clients to seek millions from Heydary’s estate
More than 1,000 clients left scrambling