Former real-estate developer Tarsem Gill wants to withdraw guilty pleas, claiming he was suffering from depression and anxiety

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FORMER real-estate developer Tarsem Gill who had suddenly entered guilty pleas on two counts of fraud in the B.C. Supreme Court last May, now claims he was suffering from depression and anxiety at the time and has filed an application to withdraw those pleas.

Psychologist Dr. Hugues Herve testified that Gill had been suicidal during that time and that his wife discovered a suicide note he had written and intervened to stop him from jumping off a bridge, The Province newspaper reported.

Gill’s latest lawyer, Kevin McCullough, told the B.C. Supreme Court that Herve’s evidence was to show what his client’s mental state was at the time of the pleas and he was not suggesting that he was mentally unfit at the time of the pleas.

 

JUST a year ago, the third lawyer for former real-estate developer Tarsem Singh Gill withdrew. Robert Doran told B.C. Supreme Court that he wanted to withdraw as lawyer for Gill for ethical concerns and nonpayment of legal fees. Gill told the court that he had to apply for legal aid.

In 2011, Gill fired his lawyer David Crossin and hired lawyer Ian Donaldson. In 2012, Gill fired Donaldson and hired Doran.

Gill and his lawyer Martin Wirick allegedly ripped off homeowners and financial institutions of some $40 million. Gill pleaded not guilty in the scheme that was uncovered back in 2002. The RCMP and Vancouver Police investigated the matter and charges were finally laid in 2008. Wirick pleaded guilty the following year and received a seven-year jail term.

But last May, Gill suddenly entered guilty pleas on two counts of fraud in the B.C. Supreme Court just when his trial was to have begun.

Gill’s lawyer at the time, Jason Mann, requested the judge to postpone sentencing until early 2014 mainly because his daughter was getting married in February.

Owners of as many as 77 different properties were impacted by the mortgage scam. The Law Society of B.C. paid out almost $40 million to the victims.