A man who accepted nearly $2 million in gold bars at night in a Rexdale parking lot took the gold to Egypt and gave it to Islamic scholars, court records show.
Joseph Adam, a Toronto resident, is ordered to appear on Jan. 10 in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, commercial division, to explain himself.
The court case involves two insolvent sister companies, UM Financial Inc. and UM Capital Inc., that manage sharia-compliant home mortgages. In a sharia-compliant mortgage, rather than pay interest, a buyer rents the home from the money lender, gradually purchasing the property. Ownership is transferred when the full value is paid.
Court documents show 172 homeowners were involved with the UM companies when they went into receivership in October.
“(Adam) was apparently involved in a car accident last week,” Toronto lawyer Joel Levitt wrote in a Dec. 21 email to lawyers acting for the receiver.
“Mr. Adam has not returned to Toronto,” Levitt wrote. “He is attempting to gain the co-operation of the scholars to return the gold to him. . . He expects to determine in the next few days whether any of the gold can be recovered.”
Earlier that day in a telephone conversation to the receiver’s lawyers, Levitt said the gold had been taken by Adams to Egypt and disbursed to scholars there, court documents show.
Levitt’s subsequent email said Adam gave the gold to the scholars before a Canadian court order to return it was issued.
Acting for the receiver, lawyer Neil Rabinovitch wrote back asking:
Who did Adam give the gold to and in what amounts?
When did Adam give the gold away?
Why did he give it to the scholars?
How did Adam get the gold to Egypt?
What steps is Adam taking to recover it?
The insolvent sister mortgage companies are UM Financial Inc. and UM Capital Inc., headed by Omar Kalair.
A partner in the venture that began in 2004, Central 1 Credit Company, is suing the UM companies in receivership court for $31 million.
Court-appointed receiver Grant Thornton Ltd., in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, is still demanding nearly $2 million in gold bars.
Kalair has testified that he converted $2.2 million of UM company money into gold and silver, and on Oct. 4 unloaded it from the trunk of his car to give to Adam in a Shopper’s Drug Mart parking lot near Rexdale Blvd. and Islington Ave.
The gold and silver was to be partial payment to five local sharia advisors, Mississauga Muslim cleric Yusuf Panchbaya, one of the five, has testified.
Panchbaya, who hired Adam as financial manager to a group, has also testified that Adam later returned the silver to him and he gave it to the receiver.
But instead of giving the gold to the local clerics, Adam says he gave it to imams, according to court documents dated Dec. 29. Earlier, Adam had worked with three imams to develop a sharia-compliant Mastercard for one of Kalair’s other companies.
In the same Dec. 29 documents, the court orders Kalair, Panchbaya and Adam to turn over their cellphone records covering Aug. 30 to Dec. 31, when the gold might have been discussed.
The court also orders Adam’s lawyer Levitt to submit a written report on Adam’s whereabouts, including all contact information for him, if Adam fails to appear on Jan. 10.