Will Canada Revenue Agency investigate lawyer’s transfer of 1 million to a phoney client?

Will Canada Revenue Agency take on Big Law?

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

Canada Revenue Agency (‘CRA’) recently announced that it has launched dozens of investigations into offshore monies that surfaced in the Panama Papers leak. (Toronto Star news article here)

The agency says it has “upped its game” in going after the money-laundering, tax-fraud crowd with a half-a-billion dollar budget increase aimed squarely at funding such investigations.

I wonder if the CRA will shy away from investigating big Bay Street law firms – given that everybody knows that without corrupt lawyers and accountants, tax-fraud and money-laundering would be severely obstructed for most of the offshore monied class.

Considering that a recent Global Witness ‘cold-call’ undercover investigation showed that fully 25% of big city lawyers are willing to money-launder, we can safely assume that a much higher percentage of lawyers would do the dirty deed for their known and trusted client base.

Unless the Canada Revenue Agency is willing to take on Big Law, their investigations will only yield low hanging fruit – little guys.

So in the spirit of Canadians cooperating with the Canada Revenue Agency to lower all our tax pressures, I offer the following set of circumstances that can easily be proven through documents already filed as evidence before the courts. CRA investigators and my readers shouldn’t believe anything I say though… they should examine the evidence and make up their own minds.

Money laundering question: Where did the million dollars go?

Big Law Firm lawyers Gerald Ranking – Lorne Silver knew Ranking’s purported client did not exist.

Toronto lawyer Gerald Ranking and his Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP law firm were paid over a million dollars in court costs during the Nelson Barbados Group vs Cox civil lawsuit – in trust for their purported client, ‘PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean Firm’.

Only one little problem: Gerald Ranking, Faskens and co-counsel Lorne Silver knew that the Ranking’s client was a phoney non-entity that does not, and did not, exist at any time.

The use of a fraudulent, non-existant business entity for financial transactions is a recognized badge of fraud and money-laundering.

While Gerald Ranking’s use of a phoney client and non-existent business entity offered his real clients some measure of protection if the civil suit was lost, it created problems when the court ordered payments to the phoney non-existent business. By definition, a phoney non-existent business cannot have a bank account.

During the Nelson Barbados Group Ltd. civil case, about a million dollars in costs was paid to Faskens and Ranking in trust for their fraudulent non-existent ‘client’. So where did Faskens and Ranking transfer the money received ‘in trust’ for their phoney client?

The one thing we do know about where the money went is that it was never deposited into any bank account in the name ‘PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean Firm’ as the court ordered.

How did Fasken and Ranking work around the currency laws of Barbados, applicable income tax laws and other legal problems that must have arisen when transferring a million dollars the court ordered paid to a non-existent, phoney, fraudulent non-entity?

That, as they say, is an excellent question that is certainly worthy of consideration by the courts, Canada Revenue Agency, the Law Society of Upper Canada and by ordinary Canadians.

Here’s where CRA and my readers can find the sworn and filed court evidence to investigate and decide this matter for themselves:

September 17, 2015 – Why did Fasken Martineau lawyer Gerald Ranking not submit costs to the Supreme Court of Canada?

September 20, 2014 – Lawsuit Claim: Faskens lawyer Gerald Ranking knowingly represented a phoney business entity, lied to the Supreme Court of Canada.

March 27, 2016 – Anonymous Companies: Global Witness undercover investigation shows 25% of lawyers will money launder.

Let me make it quite clear: Lawyer Gerald Ranking of the large Canadian law firm Fasken Martineau DuMoulin, knowingly lied to the Superior Court of Ontario, the Appeal Court of Ontario and to the Supreme Court of Canada. Starting in 2007, Ranking falsely claimed that his purported client ‘Pricewaterhouse Coopers East Caribbean Firm’ was a business legitimately registered with the Government of Barbados. That was a lie in 2007, and it continues to be a lie.

Ranking and his witness maintained that lie for years, even in the face of irrefutable evidence to the contrary. In January of 2013, Ranking even sought to reinforce the lie by fraudulently reading into the court record deliberately false renditions of Barbados government records. The evidence to support all this is filed with the courts, and is available here at DonaldBest.ca.

Fasken Martineau DuMoulin lawyer Gerald Ranking is a liar. His actions were unethical and illegal. He lied to the Supreme Court of Canada.


Further… there is the question of the million dollars paid into Ranking’s trust account for a non-existent, fraudulent client that could not have possibly had a bank account.

And the money ended up where?

Clear enough? Good!


When will judges speak out against perjury? Don’t make me laugh!

“Sometimes the truth just doesn’t matter to the courts when high status persons are in jeopardy.”

Georgialee Lang

I was happy to discover Lawdiva’s Blog by Vancouver lawyer Georgialee Lang – who posts some excellent articles about the legal system and treads where many others fear to go.

She also writes marvellous headlines such as “Judge Presides Over Child Support Hearing While Conducting an Affair with Litigant”.

Recently Georgialee asked When Will Our Judges Speak Out Forcefully Against Perjury?

I left this comment on her article:

Hello Ms. Lang,

I’ve enjoyed a few of your articles today after stumbling across your website a few clicks ago. (Can’t even remember where or how I got here – the wonders of the internet.)

In my 40 years in and around the court as a police detective and as a private investigator, I concur that there has always been a great reluctance to prosecute people for perjury. Even if the evidence is overwhelming and irrefutable with no reasonable doubt, perjury charges just never seem to follow.

In my own case before the Ontario Superior Court, even a forensically proven and secretly made voice recording that conclusively proved perjury wasn’t enough. Indeed, no court ever agreed to listen to the recording lest the judge would then have to find perjury and conspiracy against three witnesses.

And the three witnesses who perjured themselves just happened to be… lawyers.

Sometimes the truth just doesn’t matter to the courts when high status persons are in jeopardy.

The Sebastien Kwidzinski story: How senior partners taught a young articling lawyer to fabricate evidence and lie to the court.

Donald Best


Did lawyers assist in Justice Bryan Shaughnessy’s “disgusting” misconduct? #3 in a series

Big Law Firm lawyers Gerald Ranking (left), Lorne Silver & Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Did lawyers Lorne S. Silver and Gerald L. Ranking know of Justice Shaughnessy’s intentions? Did they assist? If so, they are co-conspirators with the judge.

In articles over the past months (listed below), we told how after court ended on May 3, 2013, Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy went to a backroom where, off the court record, he secretly increased a prisoner’s sentence without a trial and without telling the self-represented prisoner (Donald Best). In that backroom, Justice Shaughnessy signed a secret new warrant of committal – that he did not place into the court record and that he provided only to prison authorities.

Several senior lawyers and a retired Crown Attorney called Justice Shaughnessy’s behaviour “disgusting”, “reprehensible”, “malicious” and “worthy of his removal from the bench.”

Donald Best complained of Shaughnessy’s misconduct to the Canadian Judicial Council – (Best’s Jan 5, 2016 12-page CJC complaint without exhibits. PDF 218kb).

After CJC Director Norman Sabourin summarily dismissed the complaint without conducting an investigation or providing reasons, Best’s lawyer filed for a Judicial Review of the CJC decision. That judicial review is now before the Federal Court.

Our second article in this series explained how big law firm partners Lorne S. Silver and Gerald L. Ranking certainly witnessed parts of Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct in court.

In Part #3 of this series, we look at evidence that lawyers Ranking and Silver actually participated in Justice Shaughnessy’s serious misconduct – perhaps secretly meeting with the judge in a backroom after court.

On May 3, 2013, lawyers Lorne S. Silver and Gerald L. Ranking were in court and witnessed Justice Shaughnessy state on the record that he was lifting the stay on his January 15, 2010 Warrant of Committal for Donald Best, and that Best would now be taken to prison to serve the sentence indicated on that January 15, 2010 warrant – for contempt of court during a civil case costs hearing.

On May 3, 2013, Silver and Ranking also witnessed Justice Shaughnessy state on the record that “Approval of the order by Mr. Best will be dispensed with and I direct that this order shall be prepared by Messrs. Ranking and Silver and presented to me for signature by Monday, May 6, 2013.” (May 3, 2013 transcript, pg 57, line 32)

Silver and Ranking also witnessed Justice Shaughnessy order that Best was never again to be brought before him.

Thus, Justice Shaughnessy ordered Ranking and Silver to create a Judgment Order to be presented to him on May 6, 2013, and also that self-represented litigant Donald Best was not to participate or be provided with a copy of the judgment order. This judgment order (download here) did not order the creation of a new warrant of committal or increase Best’s sentence, and was not the secret new warrant of committal signed by Justice Shaughnessy after court on May 3, 2013.


Secret new May 3, 2013 Warrant of Committal. Click to enlarge.

Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct was premeditated with malicious intent.

Shaughnessy ordered in court on May 3, 2013 that:

1/ Best was not to participate in the creation of a judgment order, and,

2/ Best was never to be brought before Justice Shaughnessy again.

As indicated in Best’s complaint to the CJC, these orders on the record are evidence of Shaughnessy’s premeditation and malicious intent to secretly increase Best’s sentence after court, and to not place the new secret warrant of committal or increased sentence on the court record.

We know that after court ended on May 3, 2013, Justice Shaughnessy left the courtroom and went to a backroom where he signed a secret new order dated May 3, 2013 that illegally increased Best’s sentence. Best only learned of the order from prison authorities after his arrival at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ontario.

Did lawyers Lorne Silver and Gerald Ranking meet secretly with Justice Shaughnessy in a backroom after court on May 3, 2013?

We do not know at this point if Gerald Ranking or Lorne Silver knew in advance of Justice Shaughnessy’s intention to secretly increase Best’s jail sentence after court was over. Whether they knew or did not know in advance, is important evidence.

We do not know if Ranking and Silver learned of the secretly increased sentence and new warrant perhaps days or weeks afterwards – or, if Justice Shaughnessy secretly instructed them in a backroom meeting on May 3, 2013 to draft the secret new warrant of committal with the increased sentence.

Were the lawyers with Justice Shaughnessy on May 3, 2013 when he signed the secret warrant and illegally increased Best’s sentence? Did the lawyers draft the secret warrant upon private backroom instructions from the judge?

If lawyers Lorne Silver and Gerald Ranking had any part in the creation or delivery of the illegal and secret warrant of committal, or if they knew about it on May 3, 2013 or were present when Justice Shaughnessy signed it – then the lawyers are co-conspirators with the judge in his egregious misconduct.

What did the judge’s secretary and other court staff witness?

Justice Shaughnessy’s secretary and other court staff may have witnessed the lawyers meeting with the judge after court ended. The judge’s secretary and court staff may have knowledge of the creation and forwarding of the secret warrant of committal to prison authorities.

Drafts of the secret warrant warrant of committal might exist on court computers – or the secret warrant might have been created using one of the lawyers’ laptop computers and therefore does not appear on court computers.

CJC Executive Director Norman Sabourin summarily dismissed Best’s complaint without an investigation and without providing reasons.

Justice Shaughnessy, his court staff and lawyers Silver and Ranking must be witnesses in any valid CJC investigation or public inquiry – but so far both Lorne Silver and Gerald Ranking refuse to be cross-examined about any of their conduct in relation to Donald Best’s conviction, sentencing and imprisonment.

As indicated in our first two articles in this series, Justice Shaughnessy is now personally represented at the judicial review by Law Society of Upper Canada senior bencher Peter C. Wardle. Wardle has a conflict of interest as he also represented lawyers Lorne S. Silver and Gerald L. Ranking in a related matter.

With the Federal Attorney General representing the CJC, and the Ontario Attorney General absent after formerly representing Justice Shaughnessy, no one is representing the public interest at the judicial review.  

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