Missing Markham lawyer faced legal battles, complaints: court

A missing Markham lawyer who investigators now suspect was met with foul play was embroiled in a number of legal battles and facing professional complaints at the time of her disappearance, recent court filings show.

Isabella Dan, 53, was last seen nearly two months ago on March 3 in the area of ​​Water Walk Drive and Verclaire Gate in Markham, Ont.

New details outlined in court filings made to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and reviewed by CTV News Toronto show that, in the weeks since the lawyer’s disappearance, the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) has obtained a court order to take control of her business accounts and client files, and that, when she went missing, Dan was facing at least four civil lawsuits related to mortgage fraud.

The documents allege she took client trust funds, acted in a conflict of interest, committed fraud, and has not accounted for clients for their money.

In statements of defense filed on Dan’s behalf in 2022, all fraudulent activity is denied.


Police confirmed to CTV News Toronto Monday that investigators are now treating Dan’s disappearance as suspicious, as they suspect the lawyer was met with foul play.

And was last seen leaving her Markham, Ont., condominium on March 3, according to York Regional Police (YRP).

After leaving the residence, Dan willingly entered an associate’s Porsche Cayenne parked out front, according to York Regional Police.

Investigators said her home was in a state thought to be “out of character,” with food and personal items left out.

From there, investigators believe she was dropped off to meet an unknown person in the area of ​​Highway 7 between Warden and Leslie in Markham, or along Yonge Street between York Mills and Eglinton in Toronto.

Police said Dan may have gone by other names, including ‘Rui Dan’ and ‘Rourun Dan.’

And was reported missing by her colleagues after she failed to show up for meetings and to work, court filings show.

Emails presented in court show that, on March 17, Dan’s brother in China emailed the LSO in an attempt to locate his sister, stating his family was in “pain” and “very anxious.”


In its filings, the LSO said it has received three complaints regarding Dan and is investigating “allegations that Ms. And took client trust funds, acted in a conflict of interest, committed mortgage fraud, and has not accounted for clients for their money.”

At the time of her disappearance, Dan was also facing four ongoing civil lawsuits at Ontario’s Superior Court involving allegations of fraudulent mortgages taken out on Toronto-area properties, filed as recently as December 2022.

None of the claims have been proven in court.

Statements of claim filed as recently as October 2022 deny any negligence on Dan’s behalf.

“And denies that she was negligent in any way or that she breached any duties owed to the plaintiff,” the most recent statement says. “In representing and advising the plaintiff, And at all times exercised the required degree of care and skill.”


Investigators have yet to speak to anyone who knows the woman on strictly personal terms, they confirmed Monday.

York police are asking anyone who knows Dan personally, alongside anyone with information pertaining to her disappearance to contact the Homicide and Missing Person Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7865 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-tips.

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