Mark John Chandler
17 February 2021
Vancouver condo developer Mark John Chandler was given a six-year sentence for a real estate investment fraud. He swindled 12 U.S. investors out of $1.7 million more than a decade ago. He took their money for condominium units in Los Angeles. Instead of building the condominium he used the money to buy himself a Mercedes-Benz, chartering a private yacht, luxury purchases and high-end dining, and vacations in Hawaii and Las Vegas.
Chandler has not been charged with any criminal offences in Canada. But he has dozens of civil lawsuits in British Columbia, with many alleging “fraudulent conduct.” But U.S. District Court Judge sited these cases in his reasons for sentencing in California. The judge called him a financial predator. He has more than 77 civil cases filed against him.
Chandler pleaded guilty to wire fraud in October. He was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,703,965.56. His lawyer said he has no assets.
A California-based doctor, one of Chandler’s victims, spoke by phone at the hearing, said that Chandler expected to get away with it, because he was going to go back to Canada and he never thought he’d be extradited.
Chandler was sentenced to three years of supervised release and was ordered to surrender his passport and not leave the country. But he used a second passport and flew by private jet to Mexico for a vacation. Chandler’s lawyers fought his extradition through Canadian courts for more than three years. His last appeal failed in October 2019. He was transferred to the U.S., where he has remained in federal custody.
When the judge offered Chandler a chance to speak, he said that he had contracted Covid-19 in prison and was fed peanut butter and jelly for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In British Columbia, Chandler defrauded more than $10million of home buyers’ deposits after returning from California for a Langley condo project called Murrayville House, which was never developed.
Vancouver Sun reported.