Award-winning former Saskatoon realtor facing 17 fraud counts after economic crime investigation

Kamanashis Deb is facing 17 counts of fraud. (Kamanashis Deb/Facebook - image credit)
Kamanashis Deb is facing 17 counts of fraud. (Kamanashis Deb/Facebook - image credit)

A former Saskatoon realtor facing 17 counts of mortgage fraud is an award-winning agent with deep ties in the city's business community.

Police charged Kamanashis Deb after a two-year investigation that involved multiple financial institutions. One of the lenders affected by the alleged fraud, Affinity Credit Union, said it involved people coming in with fake employment letters to inflate their income to qualify for mortgages.

The allegations have not yet been tested in court. A co-accused is facing two charges of fraud.

Deb, 42, worked at the Royal LePage Varsity office for a decade, earning the company's national award of excellence in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Deb's social media is filled with photos of his professional awards. It also features selfies taken at public events with various luminaries, including Premier Scott Moe and federal Opposition leader Pierre Poilievre.

A spokesperson for Royal LePage said Deb is no longer with the company. She declined to answer questions about him.

The Saskatchewan Realtors Association said Deb has not been a member since Dec. 14, 2022.

Deb cut a wide swath through the business community, according to a biography he released when running for a board position with the Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce. At that time, he said that he was on the Chamber's advocacy committee.

Chamber chief executive officer Jason Aebig said in an email to CBC that Deb ran unsuccessfully three times for a board position, and "expressed an interest in our Advocacy Committee, but chose not to attend or actively participate."

Deb served on the Saskatoon's municipal heritage advisory committee as a board member, and as director of the Canada-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce.

He also served on the executive of the Bangladesh Community Association of Saskatchewan, including two years as president.

"Since arriving in Saskatoon in 2008 with just $20 in my pocket, I've become an experienced entrepreneur," he wrote in his campaign literature.

Deb did not return calls for comment.

Kamanashis Deb/Facebook
Kamanashis Deb/Facebook

The investigation began on March 1, 2021, when the Saskatoon Police Service received a report of "falsified banking documents that were submitted with several mortgage applications at a Saskatoon banking institution," according to a police news release, which did not identify that institution.

The documents were traced back to mortgages submitted by two Saskatoon realtors, police said.

Eight applications using false documents were discovered at a single financial institution, according to police.

An investigation by the police service's economic crime section led to police executing multiple search warrants and seizing more fraudulent documents connected to mortgage applications at several other financial institutions.

Kamanashis Deb was charged with 17 counts of fraud this week. He is scheduled to be in court next month.

A 36-year-old man was charged with two counts of fraud in January.