Pradeep Bridglal Pachai Law Society of Ontario | Services For The Public‎

Lawyer Pradeep Bridglal Pachai almost pulled off the perfect scam, conspiring with an automobile insurance executive to steal $1.5 million from the company that employed them both. The scheme was ingenious in its simplicity. According to law society documents, Vinti Sansanwal, at the time national claims director with HB Group insurance in Mississauga, would approve personal injury files for hundreds of thousands of dollars more than what had been negotiated with claimants. Pachai, acting as the lawyer for the insurance company, altered documents to reflect the inflated bogus amounts, while sending off the true lower amounts to claimants. In one case, a claim was settled for only $5,000 but Pachai doctored the documents sent to the company to show it was $225,000. The law society says Pachai and Sansanwal then split the excess settlement funds on a 50-50 basis. They did this 11 times between 2005 and 2007. The law society found Pachai kept close to half of the $1.5 million the scam raked in. An anonymous tipster blew the whistle on Sansanwal, who was then fired. Pachai was brought before the law society on charges of professional misconduct for his part in the fraudulent claims. In his defence, Pachai, a graduate of Dalhousie law school, admitted to the bar in 1988, claimed Sansanwal hatched the scheme and he felt pressured to go along with it for fear of being cut off from future work for the insurance company, his biggest client. Sansanwal could not be located for comment and the allegations against him have not been tested in court. Pachai was disbarred in 2010 after a hearing at which his father Bridglal Pachai, former executive director of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, and his sister, Ansuya, testified that this was unusual behavior for him. The law society found that greed was the likely motivating factor and noted his sister’s testimony that Pachai “took client money to pay for a Lexus.” “There is no satisfactory explanation for his misconduct; it was self-interested economic choice, which was not forced upon him even if it was devised and initiated by Mr. Sansanwal,” the law society ruled. “Nor was it unavoidable.” The Star spotted Pachai in the Islington and Bloor area driving an Infinity FX-35 SUV. Reached by phone, Pachai declined to answer any questions saying: “I’d just as soon let sleeping dogs lie.” Later in response to a letter with detailed questions, Pachai emailed his answer: “I sincerely regret my misconduct and the hurt I caused. I made full restitution to the complainant within a very short time.” He never faced criminal charges. The insurance company sued Pachai and Sansanwal to recover their funds, but withdrew the action against Pachai after he paid back $850,000, the law society decision states. A spokesperson for HB’s parent company, The Co-operators, declined comment citing a confidentially agreement with the disbarred lawyer.

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