Former Canucks draft pick Prab Rai charged in alleged multimillion-dollar fraud
Rai is also named in a civil suit filed by a man claiming the former hockey player owes him $3M
A former Vancouver Canucks prospect has been charged in connection with what police are calling a large-scale financial fraud.
Surrey RCMP say its financial crimes unit launched an investigation into Prab Rai, 34, in 2021 after a victim came forward claiming to have lost several million dollars in real estate investment opportunities.
Rai, who is from Surrey, B.C., was arrested on Tuesday and charged with fraud over $5,000, said RCMP. He was released by the courts on conditions, pending his next court appearance.
A civil suit was filed against Rai and members of his family by businessman Harpreet Singh Khela in December 2020. It accuses the former hockey star of defrauding Khela of close to $3 million.
Khela claims in the lawsuit that Rai involved him in a number of business deals that all turned out to be "fictitious," including an investment deal in a Tim Hortons franchise.
In the largest of the alleged schemes, Khela said he advanced $2.4 million to Rai as a deposit on a fake deal to buy the Sutton Place Hotel in Vancouver.
Khela also claims Rai made up a "fantastical story" about losing all his money after being kidnapped, beaten and robbed of his hard drive, which contained his bank account information.
In his response to the lawsuit, Rai claims Khela attempted to ingratiate and involve himself with Rai's legitimate business pursuits and then started making "a [series] of sweeping, unfounded allegations" against Rai in an effort to stave off creditors.
None of the allegations have been tested in court.
Rai was selected 131st overall by the Canucks in the 2008 NHL draft.
Rai had 69 points in 67 games with the WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds In the 2009-10 season. He went on to play 38 games in the ECHL.