Law Society of Ontario calls for input into money laundering rules… Foxes designing hen house security

Money Laundering needs specialists

Lawyers are key to successful money laundering. That’s why the rules shouldn’t be left up to them.

During his acceptance speech as the co-winner of the 2015 Allard Prize for International Integrity, journalist Rafael Marques de Morais said “(unethical) Lawyers are servants in the architecture of corruption.”

Indeed they are. Lawyers are very necessary servants in the architecture of corruption for without lawyers willing to assist their valued clients, money laundering would be much more difficult for organized crime, crooked politicians, cheating corporations and others so inclinded to wash and conceal money here in Canada or offshore.

With Canadian banks and other named businesses having to report to the government large cash transactions (deposits or withdrawals over $10,000 cash) and also suspicious transactions – lawyers are the go-to people for weaseling around the laws because they are largely exempt from the reporting rules and constraints of non-lawyers. Plus, lawyers have a vast array of creative tools and strategies available – not to mention an international brotherhood that is experienced in working around inconvenient laws.

After 9/11, Canadian lawyers fought hard to keep from being more closely regulated and scrutinized over the issue of money transfers. They succeeded for a time, but the pressure is on again.

“The Law Society ‘solution’ for preventing money laundering is to rely entirely upon the integrity of individual lawyers – with no accounting or oversight by the law society or anyone else unless a complaint is made. Given that those involved in money laundering would never complain to the law society, that wraps things up quite nicely.”

Law Society of Ontario calls for input into money laundering rules

Canadian lawyers admit they are in fear of “the possibility of a renewed effort by the federal government to extend the PCMLTFA (Proceeds of Crime – Money Laundering – and Terrorist Financing Act) to members of the legal profession.” (See page 2 of the Law Society of Ontario’s Call for Input – download 1mb pdf here.)

As a result, the law societies across Canada have banded together with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada to present a little dog and pony show for the public and the legislators (who are primarily legal profession club members themselves.) The ‘club’ created a ‘Professional Regulation Committee’ and is calling for input from lawyers to the proposed amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Rules.

A few minor changes coupled with a public relations campaign should do the trick… anything to stave off effective regulations that would cramp the profession’s ability to creatively serve the needs of their big-paying clients that they don’t want anyone to look at too closely.

You will note how the LSO proposal deals with transfers of cash, identifying and verifying clients and the use of lawyer’s trust accounts. A closer read shows that the proposed changes still leave lots of leeway and discretion to individual money-laundering lawyers. The money laundering toolbox is still intact with private mortgages, property transfers, offshore corporations and lots more tools still viable as lawyers’ secret conduits for tainted money.

Focus on Cash is a red herring.

The focus upon cash is a red herring for Canadian lawyers. Most of the money-laundering lawyers in Canada are not involved with large cash transactions through their own hands. By the time money arrives in their law firm accounts, it is coming through banks and from other lawyers in the form of documented transfers, real estate sales to apparent arms length parties and staged business dealings that have just enough appearance of legitimacy to protect the involved lawyers and law firms.

A Global Witness undercover investigation showed that 25% of New York lawyers would money-launder for strangers walking in off the streets. That was for strangers, not valued and known clients. Do we think that proportion of crooked lawyers is any different in Toronto, London or Barbados?

LSO Treasurer Paul Schabas (left) covered up fraud and money-laundering indicators for corrupt lawyer Gerald Ranking.

Law Society of Ontario Treasurer Paul Schabas knew that lawyer Gerald Ranking fraudulently used a fake business entity in Ontario courts, and that Ranking received a million dollars in a trust account for this phony purported client.

Intruding into this Law Society of Ontario dog and pony show are some serious facts that destroy the law society’s credibility to deal with apparent money-laundering by legal club member lawyers.

For instance, Law Society of Ontario Treasurer Paul Schabas was co-counsel with corrupt Fasken lawyer Gerald L. Ranking on a civil case where Ranking went wild with criminal misconduct. Schabas at the time was a bencher and a member of the law society’s discipline committee. (See ‘Paul Schabas and Canada’s Corrupt Bay Street Lawyers‘ for details and supporting court exhibits.)

What did Paul Schabas do when he learned that Gerald Ranking’s purported client in a civil case was actually a non-existent fictional creation?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Nada. Zilch.

What did Law Society of Ontario bencher Paul Schabas do when he learned that Gerald Ranking had received about a million dollars in a trust account for his ficticious non-existent client?

Paul Schabas and his law society knew that lawyer Gerald Ranking of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP’s Toronto office fraudulently claimed that his purported client was a registered Barbados business – when in fact the ‘company’ was a phony non-entity conjured up to deflect liability from Ranking’s actual clients. Schabas and the law society also knew that Ranking received over a million dollars court costs payments in the name of the phony ‘company’ that Ranking knew didn’t really exist – a badge of money laundering.

What did Paul Schabas do when he knew that the million dollars could not possibly be deposited to the credit of the fake ‘business’ that the court awarded it to?

Nothing.

So you see… Law Society Treasurer Paul Shabas and the Law Society of Ontario cannot be trusted to administer, investigate and discipline lawyers who violate anti-money laundering rules, including the ‘know your client’ provisions.

And that was just one case. Here’s a few hundred more…

According to the Toronto Star’s Broken Trust investigation, in the last few years the Law Society of Ontario covered up and whitewashed hundreds of crimes by lawyers who committed criminal offences against their clients.

And now the Law Society of Ontario is proposing minor changes to the anti-money-laundering rules that will do little to stem the problem of money-laundering lawyers – the “servants in the architecture of corruption.”

It is time to bring Canada’s legal profession into compliance with modern standards of transparency, independent oversight and external accountability.

14 comments

  • Hi Guys,
    Mr. Best is a hero, doesn’t matter he win or lose his case. He set up a shame column for Canadian judges, and we can hang the bad judges on the shame column. When other judges want to do bad thing and remind that he / she may be hung on the shame column, he /she may stop doing bad things.

  • You’re right Glen. Too many LAWYERS in Parliament. TIME TO KICK THEM OUT. They cover up for each other. Now with continual leaks, the pressure is on them.
    The Patrick Brown case is unravelling.. CTV employees are leaking it. Obvious take out of their leader with ulterior motives.

    There is another case covered up by Kathleen Wynne of a woman harassed and groped by an Ontario cabinet member. Kathleen Wynne has lied no doubt and it was caught with a leaked letter. She sent the email to the government lawyers, not the police. He has never removed years ago this groping sexual harasser. But Patrick Brown has allegations being proven false and he was removed. Quite interesting. Double Standard.

    The leaked documents are online. Everyone can read it. We can form our own opinions but no doubt like-minded individuals can figure out the same scenario. Posters on this website prove it.

  • A judge in BC struck down a defamation case brought by the Green Party member against an article on Climate. The Judge stated the article was not against him personally. It was on Climate and opinions. This was a correct summation by the Judge. They can get it right sometimes. Here in Ontario you can attack the Justice system. It’s been proven they are corrupt. They just cover it up. You can name the people when the police refuse to do anything. When breach of trust is committed over and over again you can expose it. That’s not defamation it’s exposing it and they can answer the questions. They might not want to answer the questions but they are under obligation to. Friendly judges contaminate the system. Organized crime linked to law enforcement and politicians covered up contaminates the system and questions the verdicts and sentences handed to crime figures Crowns refusing to go forward is contamination as well. Questions the integrity and cover of crooked. Don’t like being called crooked. Then clean it up. This is all public record. The judges their verdicts their sentences . The cover up of maffia into police.

  • A lawyer in BC committed 200 mortgage frauds. It was an honest lawyer who had to force the police attorney general and law society to charge this lawyer. He got 7 years in prison. No criminal breach of trust.

    To add insult the law society of BC cited the honest lawyer for going against the code…by reporting a lawyer for fraud.

    Incredible cover up until they were forced to as the honest lawyer was relentless. This lawyer even named other lawyers involved in mortgage fraud.

    I think the time has come when the law society can no longer govern themselves.

  • The CRA conducted raids in Toronto area greater Vancouver and Calgary and it would appear charges are coming They refuse to divulge anything to the CBC . The Panama Papers are centred to it. But wait the CRA apparently stated it’s nor all about tax evasion. SMALL businesses not claiming all monies and tax protesters But now CRA the Panama and Paradise papers are huge…3000 Canadians or so.. so those small businesses will have to wait as you have much bigger fish to fry. Canada has not recovered any monies based on these papers. Other countries like 500 million dollars so Canada needs to step up to the plate and crack down. Considering the many well known names connected to the papers we expect a crackdown on them too….

  • The Courts are contaminated by corruption and cover up. They can’t run and hide any longer. Just because lawyers get their clients off means nothing with a tainted court system. Lawyers can boast all they want about their success but it’s not reality, Now in citizens minds there are question marks as to the verdicts handed out since corruption abounds. Maffia into law enforcement maffia into politics maffia into courts. Contamination from one end of Canada to the other. The stories like Andrea recently who had her land stolen David Simetic the English Family and other Canadians with horror court stories is atrocious. Law Society members money laundering and getting away with it. Lawyers and judges covering up for one another. A cabal of vorrupt covered by cabal of morons.

  • The meaning of malice

    the term malice in the dictionary means the intention or to do evil; ill will. The legal version is-wrongful intention especially as increasing the guilt of some offenses.

    Are we going to send the judges here in the Donald Best case back to law school. Maybe they need to go back to elementary school to learn the meaning of malice.

    Justice OShaughnessey fits that meaning to a T. The other judges fit it as well.

    • Yes malice includes the intention or desire to do evil. A conspiracy of cover up is definitely a pattern of intent to do ill will on another person. Those who put Donald Best’s personal information online we’re malicious and brought him harm. Especially as a former cop who worked organized crime .

      Someone had to have obtained this information and definitely not legally. Malicious intent once again.

      What a nightmare for Donald Best.

    • keep pecking at their hen house-its not made of steel

    • I do not think that Shaughnessy will be in the Patricks Day Parade.

  • Terrific post. You cant expose the truth any better. The law society is desperate to continue with their self governing. How will they supplement their incomes with free money. How will their wealthy clients not be able to continue adding to their wealth. All tax free of course. While all of us hardworking Canadians support their free wealth with our taxes.

  • YOU SOCK IT TO THEM EVERY TIME—GREAT CHESS PLAYING

  • Backroom dealing Paolone

    Once again you have scored the touch down to win the game.
    Sneaky bunch of foxes. No better way to describe it.
    But then Best comes in to expose the foxes so the wolves can tear them apart.
    Legally of course. Outing their sugar coated plan to look like they are cleaning up corruption. Helping the FEDS so to speak.
    Someone is definitely poking the cage of the crooked caught inside. Once again their tactics expose their cover up. Their desperation to look credible.

  • Another great post! On the Facebook page of the Ontario Civil Liberties Association (ocla.ca) (unrelated to CCLA, not lawyer run), I summarized your post as:

    “Lawyers systemically enable pervasive corruption and defend their ability to do so, a la cash cow.”

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