Senate Scandal – Senator accused of claiming up to $231,649 in expenses

12 August 2013 - Which Way To Pay

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Mac Harb Senate Scandal: Senator did nothing wrong accepting loans

Senator Mac Harb is defending his decision to borrow $230,000 from an Ottawa businessman by mortgaging several of his properties including his home to pay for his legal fight against the Senate. Mr. Harb, a former Liberal MP and senator who now sits as an independent, has been accused by a Senate committee of inappropriately claiming up to $231,649 in expenses between 2005 and 2012.

No advantage of any kind associated with the loans

In a letter sent Thursday to several media outlets, Harbs attorney Paul Champ insisted the senator did nothing wrong when he borrowed from Karam’s company. "Sen. Harb's loans with Mr. Karam's corporation were completely transparent, were promptly reported to the Senate in accordance with Senate rules, and were on reasonable commercial terms that are set out in the publicly registered mortgage documents," Champ wrote. "There was no advantage or benefit of any kind associated with the loans, and they are being re-paid with interest."

Loan balances are due in May 2016

The properties include three condominium units in Ottawa and the all-season home in Westmeath. Harb, whose expense claims are being investigated by the RCMP, disclosed he had borrowed money from Karam in an update to his disclosure statement to the Senate ethics officer on June 12, where he was not required to specify the amount. All loans were signed May 17 and the balance for each is due in May 2016.

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