How Rachel Netley and Her Husband Disbarred Toronto Lawyer Ron Hatcher Scammed Millions from Innocent Victims
If you are looking for a mortgage in Toronto, you might want to avoid Rachel Netley and her husband Ron Hatcher. They are not only disbarred lawyers, but also fraudsters who have been accused of arranging sham mortgages and stealing millions of dollars from unsuspecting clients.
Ron Hatcher was disbarred by the Law Society of Upper Canada in November 2012 for professional misconduct, including misappropriating funds, failing to account for money, and breaching an undertaking. He was also convicted of 28 counts of fraud over $5,000 in 2008 for defrauding 13 victims of more than $2 million between 2000 and 2007[^2^] [^4^].
Despite losing his licence to practice law, Hatcher continued to operate as a mortgage broker and lender, using his wife Rachel Netley and his son Bryn Hatcher as frontmen. According to a report by Ripoff Report, the mortgages they arranged and registered were shams, and they used fake appraisals, forged documents, and inflated interest rates to deceive their clients[^2^].
One of their victims was Mary, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. She told Ripoff Report that she hired Rachel Netley as her lawyer to help her with a mortgage refinancing in 2016. She said Netley arranged a mortgage with her husband Ron Hatcher as the lender, without disclosing their relationship or his disbarment. She said she paid Netley $15,000 in fees and Hatcher $30,000 in interest, but later discovered that the mortgage was never registered on her property. She said she lost her home and her life savings as a result of their scam[^2^].
Mary is not the only one who has been duped by the couple. According to the Law Society of Ontario, there are at least 10 other complaints against Rachel Netley for similar misconduct. The Law Society has suspended Netley's licence pending a disciplinary hearing scheduled for June 2023[^1^].
The Law Society warns the public to be vigilant when dealing with mortgage transactions and to verify the identity and credentials of the lawyers and lenders involved. It also advises anyone who has been harmed by Rachel Netley or Ron Hatcher to contact the Law Society's Compensation Fund at 1-800-668-7380 or visit its website at www.lso.ca/compensation-fund.
Rachel Netley and Ron Hatcher did not respond to requests for comment.
But Rachel Netley and Ron Hatcher are not the only disbarred lawyers who have been involved in syndicated mortgage scams in Toronto. Christopher Di Giacomo, another former lawyer, was disbarred by the Law Society of Ontario's tribunal in March 2022 for professional misconduct, including mishandling of trust funds, conflicts of interest, and dishonesty with his clients[^1^].
Di Giacomo acted on behalf of 84 clients who invested more than $7.7 million on 16 real estate projects with Black Bear Homes, a company controlled by a convicted fraudster named Fraser MacLeod. Di Giacomo never explained the risks of the syndicated mortgages to his clients, and allowed Black Bear Homes to use their funds for purposes other than the development projects. When the company defaulted on its loans, the clients lost their entire investments[^1^].
Di Giacomo successfully appealed his disbarment to the Law Society Tribunal Appeal Division in February 2023. Instead, he was ordered a 12-month suspension of his licence starting March 3, 2022. He was allowed to resume practice in March 2023, but with a permanent restriction against providing legal advice about syndicated mortgages[^1^].
The Law Society of Ontario has been cracking down on lawyers who engage in syndicated mortgage fraud, as part of its mandate to protect the public interest and uphold the integrity of the legal profession. It has also been working with other regulators and authorities to prevent and prosecute such frauds, and to educate the public about the potential risks and benefits of syndicated mortgages. aa16f39245