Massive proxy tampering

On 26 September, 2013, at their first elections at an Annual General Meeting in seven years—the corporation was in administration for six years— candidates at YCC #42, and a couple of their confederates engaged in perhaps the biggest known proxy fraud in Ontario condominium history.

Evidence of proxy tampering
During the registration of the proxies, Shah Jahan Khan, one of the directors and an official observer, was putting a line through the name of one of the candidates written in on proxies and writing in the name of a different candidate. He was doing this at the registration desk right in front of the candidate Sandeep Gosal and the scrutineers.

Sandeep immediately informed the Chair, Michael Campbell, on what he saw.

At the start of the AGM, the chair announced that the meeting met quorum with:
037 units represented in person
398 units represented by proxies

The number of proxies compared to the number of units that were represented in person show the importance that proxies had in determining who would win the election.

Election results
The election results for the candidates was:
Amina Gure
Sandeep Gosal
Ataul Malick
Rashpal Singh
Mohender Sharma
Mohammed Nizamuddin
Jagvir Gehlaut
Harold Manzke

Atual Malick, the incumbent president lost by four votes.

Mr. Campbell stated that due to the objections to his rejecting the 75 proxies, he would take the proxies to his law offices and review the rejected proxies and determine the final result.

The proxies
On Friday 27 September, Mr. Campbell sent the property management company an e-mail stating that 75 proxies were conditionally discounted or rejected and he would review the status of each individual proxy if he received a solemn declaration from the unit owner verifying that they made the written changes to the proxy.

That evening, Shah Jahan Khan sent his first of many e-mails.

His basic arguments were:
the board can over-rule the chair if it does like the chair's decision.
(It cannot, only the courts can.)
The board can appoint replacement directors until there is an election.
(Again. that decision needs to be made by the courts.)
The property management company's faulty records denied owners the right to vote. (An oppressed owner needs to go to the courts for relief.)

In his next e-mail, Shah Jahan Khan was anxious to share the following information about voting irregularities at YCC #42.

"Could you provide me the answer that in this situation BOD can overruled your recommendation and result and can call reelection when:
more than 400 proxies were written with different inks against more than three candidates.
I and 100 unit owners are the eye witnessed of more than 400 similar proxies you accepted but luckily color of pen was same should not be the basis that proxy was written, dated, time with proxy owner hand writing.
Smart Candidates always keeps seven different color ink pen for such type  of activities but the loser candidate
ATAUL HAQ MALICK my last one hr friend misused MGT office, mislead home owners to drop proxy in Ycc 42 office to Phone NO: 416-622-3422, collected 100 proxies only signed by unit owner.
95% unit owners gave verbal authority to Candidate to do what ever he want to do with the proxy.
Why proxy holders are giving proxy to candidates because of relationship, neighborhood, trust. 99% candidates treated their proxies in a similar manner and in future they will continue treating the same way.
In my opinion during final whole process, the method of rejection, adopted for proxy by proxy was illegal without merit.
Lot of proxies were handed over to one group recalled and handed over to other group by the same owner.

In this situation Board must call reelection does not matter money."

Power struggle

More than anything else, it appears that Khan and Karim wanted a new election to decide who would be the two new directors. Khan openly bragged that their community would give them sufficient proxies to elect the candidates of their choice.

On the other side, Sandeep and Amina were convinced that the next election would be marred by even more proxy fraud which would distort the true wishes of the owners.

This power struggle ended with two applications to superior court to decide on the election results and to ask for directions for the next election.

What can be learnt from this?

In this election at least 75, and up to 290, proxies were altered.
(Justice Penny ruled that 75 proxies were tampered with.)
Candidates and others, who have a direct interest in the election results, may tamper with the proxies in their possession removing certain candidate names and adding in others.
Condo corporations that have a large number of apathetic and absentee owners are vulnerable to proxy fraud.
Some condos have a long history of proxy abuse.

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