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Updated: 7th January 2019 03:06

Woman at centre of fraud case says she's not guilty

The Calgary woman charged with defrauding an immigrant of $2 million in property and cash says she's not guilty.

The Calgary woman charged with defrauding an immigrant of $2 million in property and cash says she's not guilty.

Melissa Holman, 40, is accused of defrauding an immigrant woman out of more than $2 million. (TFWA)

Melissa Holman put out a written statement Thursday.

She's the former head of the Temporary Foreign Workers Association.

In her statement, Holman says she used to be friends with 55-year-old Fusako Kametani.

Holman claims it wasn't her idea to take over the deeds to the Japanese woman's two houses in Calgary.

She says Kametani wanted to transfer the properties for "personal reasons."

Holman also says she never gave Kametani any immigration advice.

Kametani says the opposite in civil lawsuit documents.

She accuses Holman of misleading her — telling her that she was at risk of being deported because she had properties and a bank account in Canada while here on a student visa.

The statement of claim alleges Holman used money from Kametani's account to pay for gambling losses at casinos.

The allegations have not been proven in court, and Holman has not filed a statement of defence yet.   

The deeds to the two properties and some cash have been returned to Kametani, but she's still suing Holman for about $400,000.

Holman's statement:

To the public,

Given the fantastic allegations against me, I can understand the public's concern, but it is my hope that the truth will prevail. Please remember, these are only allegations and there are two sides to every story. I can assure you that I am not guilty of the charges levied against me.

Fusako Kametani had been in Canada three years before we met and became friends. She planned on appointing me the guardian of her daughter.

No immigration advice was ever given to her by me. The transfer of the two properties was entirely her idea for her personal reasons. The verbal agreement between us was clear that at any time she asked for the properties back, I would return the properties upon her request. This was witnessed by a number of people.

The transfers to me took place with a lawyer present. Six weeks later, she asked for them back and I did so immediately.

These documents were witnessed and are a matter of public record. No police or court action had been commenced at that time. I just did what I had promised upon request. This all happened nearly two months ago. There was no fraud or scam involved.

Yes, Ms. Kametani gave me money. I never controlled her bank accounts, nor ever asked to do so. Fusako had also expressed interest in opening sister offices of my not-for-profit organization in Japan, to help with the aftermath of the tsunami. Fusako is a shareholder in my company.

I am devastated by these false accusations. It is my fervent hope that these allegations will not tarnish the reputations of my and other decent humanitarian organizations in Canada helping people.

I am confident I will be acquitted in a court of law, but feel like I have already been judged by the police, some of the press and the public at large. Please let all the facts come to light in the due process of the law before rushing to judgment against me.

My lawyer has advised me not to say anymore on this matter at this time.

Kind regards,

Melissa Holman, president and founder, Temporary Foreign Workers Association of Canada

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