Bonamie fraud sentencing date set for April 4th

Ontario Superior Court of Justice – Ottawa (The Leader/Blancher photo)

OTTAWA – An Iroquois-based property developer, who pleaded guilty to four charges stemming from an international fraud investigation, will be sentenced on April 4.

Seventy-five year old Edouard Bonamie pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud over $5,000 and one count of uttering forged documents in June 2022. Since then he has been released on bail pending sentencing.

At the February 15 sentencing hearing, an Ottawa court heard victim impact statements from the three fraud victims, which were in relation to the sale of yachts. The identities of the victims, the victim impact statements, and details of sentencing submissions are cannot be published due to a Section 517 publication ban put in place on June 27, 2023.

Since entering a guilty plea as part of a plea bargain with the Crown Attorney’s office, Bonamie’s sentencing hearing has been delayed multiple times in the courts. This included a 2023 Charter challenge by defence lawyer Eric Granger to minimum sentences for fraud. A conviction for fraud over $5,000 carries a minimum sentence of two years in prison. The status of that challenge was not read in court on February 15.

Bonamie was held in custody for six and a half months prior to his guilty plea, and subsequent bail release. He has been out on bail for the past 20 months. Terms and conditions of his bail release are also protected by a publication ban.

At the conclusion of the February 15 hearing, presiding judge – Justice Ann Alder – set April 4 as the date when she will impose a sentence on Bonamie.

As Bonamie’s criminal court process draws to a close, there are still several matters before civil courts in Ontario.

At the time of his arrest in 2021, the Ottawa Police Service tied Bonamie to the activities of the South Dundas Waterfront Development Corporation. Since then, over $3.5 million in civil suits have been filed in Ontario courts against SDWDC and its affiliated development project Deerbourne Estates Corporation, Bonamie, and the listed director of both companies, Patricia Thériault.

These include a $1 million suit against Bonamie and Thériault by Capital Direct Lending Corporation from Toronto; a $661,744.97 suit by Computershare Trust Company of Canada; and $70,936.03 by GC Crédit-Bail Québec Inc. These cases have not been tested in court.

The SDWDC and the Deerbourne Estates Corporation are named as co-defendants in a $2 million civil lawsuit before the Superior Court of Justice in Brockville. The lawsuit was filed by two companies, Ardler Farms Inc. and a London, Ontario-based numbered corporation – 1803275 Ontario Limited. A $2 million order was issued against the defendants on November 29, 2023 by the Ontario Superior Court in Brockville. The law firm that formerly represented Bonamie in some of his criminal matters, SDWDC, and Deerbourne Estates – Gowling WLG – has also filed in an Ottawa court for nearly $100,000 in unpaid fees. That suit also remains untested in court.

According to the OPS, Bonamie is known by several aliases including Nicholas Bonamy, Nicholas Bomamy, Nicholas Grimaldi, and Nicholas Ives.

Prior to his moving to South Dundas, Bonamie served four years in prison related to a 2006 guilty plea for fraud and forgery charges. Those charges involved a genomics company in Saskatchewan.

According to the Regina Leader-Post at the time of his 2006 guilty plea, Bonamie’s criminal record showed more than 60 convictions – primarily for fraud and forgery – dating back to the early-1970s.

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