Langley condo developer Mark Chandler will learn Thursday if Canada’s top court will hear his case, or if he will be extradited to face fraud charges in California.
Chandler, best known locally for the long-delayed Murrayville House condo development, was the target of an FBI investigation over a failed property development in Los Angeles, which took place between 2009 and 2011.
He was charged with fraud in the U.S. and arrested in Canada in 2015, but has been fighting extradition ever since.
Chandler’s defense has been that the U.S. case against him is fundamentally flawed, but judges at the B.C. Supreme Court and the B.C. Court of Appeal have so far ruled against him.
Chandler appealed his case to the Supreme Court of Canada, which will announce on Thursday, Oct. 10 whether it will hear or refuse to hear the case.
The court only hears a fraction of the cases that are put before it. Last year it heard eight per cent of appeals made.
The Supreme Court only hears cases that are considered to be important for the public interest, noted John Gibb-Carsley, the Canadian Department of Justice lawyer who argued in B.C. courts for Chandler’s extradition.
Chandler has been free on bail, but the day before the Supreme Court’s decision he will have to submit himself to custody. If the Supreme Court agrees to hear his case, he will likely be released on bail again pending that proceeding.
If the court refuses to hear his appeal, Chandler will remain in custody and the arrangements to send him to face trial in California will begin.
Chandler was the primary developer behind the Murrayville House condo project. The 91-unit project was delayed multiple times, and was placed in receivership just before construction was completed in 2018. The RCMP announced last year the project was under investigation, and court action between various creditors to the project is ongoing.
According to a receiver who took over the condo project, some units were sold to multiple buyers. Pre-sale buyers of the condo units all lost their interest in the project after a judge’s ruling last year, leaving some people who had been waiting years to move in disappointed.