A Toronto Uber driver who received $4.5 million in aid during the COVID-19 pandemic has had his bank accounts frozen after his bank raised concerns about possible abuse of the government aid system.
The Globe and Mail reported that Justice Michael Binney of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled in favor of the Bank of Nova Scotia, affirming the validity of the freezing of Rabih George Barrack’s accounts.
The driver allegedly obtained these funds by filing a false declaration and applying for loans from the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Program and the Canada Emergency Business Account.
Mr Baraka is said to have sought help for 16 companies that he dissolved and then revived shortly before requesting the loans between March and November 2021.
As of January 2022, his bank had frozen 13 of his accounts over a total of $4.58 million in loans he had taken, according to media.
But Mr. Baraka filed a lawsuit against the bank in March 2022 for damages of up to $80 million. But Judge Penny ruled otherwise, ordering him to repay all of his loans and $1.5 million in punitive damages.
This is one of the few fraud cases to come to court related to federal programs distributed to businesses during the health crisis.
“Music guru. Incurable web practitioner. Thinker. Lifelong zombie junkie. Tv buff. Typical organizer. Evil beer scholar.”