Lawsuits allege police and attorneys jointly fabricated evidence, lied to court

Two unrelated lawsuits in the United States and Canada allege that groups of police and lawyers worked together as they fabricated evidence and lied to the courts to jail a person they knew was innocent.

Although the circumstances and people involved in the two lawsuits are entirely unrelated, both plaintiffs’ allegations share similar characteristics: a group of police and lawyers fabricated false evidence, but they didn’t know about secretly-made recordings that documented the truth.

“If there is one thing that can be gleaned from the Douglas Dendinger and Donald Best civil lawsuits, it is that police officers have no monopoly over lawyers when it comes to lying to the courts.”

United States: Douglas Dendinger

Louisiana plaintiff Douglas Dendinger was arrested and charged with battery, obstruction of justice and intimidating a witness after five police officers and two prosecuting attorneys jointly provided false evidence that they saw Dendinger physically assault and intimidate a police officer as he served the officer with legal documents.

Each of the police officers and lawyers fabricated a false story, providing statements or sworn depositions that Dendinger slapped or punched officer Chad Cassard in the chest with “violence, force”, and that Cassard “flew back several feet”.

These police officers and attorneys didn’t know that Dendinger’s relatives made two hidden videos during the service of the legal documents. Those videos conclusively prove that Dendinger calmly handed the legal papers to officer Cassard, who smoothly held out his hand and accepted service in a normal manner.

The group of seven police officers and attorneys jointly lied and provided a false narrative to support charges that could have put Dendinger away for the rest of his life. Dendinger, who spent one night in jail, filed a civil lawsuit against the police and attorneys. The Washington Post reports But for the video…  WLTV reports Charges crumble after cell phone video uncovered

Canada: Donald Best

In the Best v Ranking lawsuit filed in Barrie, Ontario Canada, plaintiff Donald Best alleges that attorneys and police committed various wrongdoing, including fabricating false and deceptive evidence, lying to the court, committing a fraud upon the court by representing a phoney non-existent business entity, illegally hiring a corrupt Ontario Provincial Police officer ‘on the side’ to perform illegal acts and other misconduct.

One of Mr. Best’s allegations is that during a telephone conversation with lawyers on November 17, 2009, Best informed the lawyers multiple times that he had not received a certain court order. The lawyers even cross-examined Best about this very issue.

When the lawyers ended the telephone call with Best, they created as evidence an official ‘Statement for the Record’; falsely reporting to the judge that during the telephone call Best had told the lawyers that he had received and did possess the court order in question.   Read more

Investigative Solutions Network Inc. files defence in Best vs Ranking lawsuit

(Above: ISN CEO Ron Wretham interviewed by CBC’s Peter Mansbridge about the mystery tunnel recently discovered near the York University campus and the Rexall Centre; a tennis venue for Toronto’s 2015 Pan Am Games.)

Investigative Solutions Network Inc. is the first defendant to file a statement of defence in the Best vs Ranking et al lawsuit currently before Ontario Superior Court in Barrie, Ontario.

The February 12, 2015 statement of defence says in part:

“The defendant ISN is an Ontario corporation based in Pickering that is a full-service private investigations and training organization. The company provides investigative, security, training and screening services. The operating mind of ISN is Ron Wretham (“Wretham”).

In the Statement of Claim, the Plaintiff has lumped the defendant ISN into a group of defendants referred to as the “Van Allen Defendants.” At the time of the matters at issue in this action, the defendant Jim Van Allen (“Van Allen”) was employed as an Ontario Provincial Police officer. Van Allen has subsequently retired from the OPP. Van Allen is now a consultant to ISN in the capacity of an executive trainer and as a threat and risk assessment analyst.

At some time in the latter part of 2009, the defendant Van Allen, while an OPP officer, contacted Wretham of the defendant ISN to inquire if he knew the address of the Plaintiff. Van Allen was not a consultant to ISN at the time. Van Allen was familiar with Wretham as Wretham was a retired Toronto Police officer. Van Allen was aware that the Plaintiff was a former Toronto Police officer. Wretham did not know the address of the Plaintiff, so he referred Van Allen to the defendant Toronto Police Association (“TPA”). As a former member of the TPA, Wretham believed that the TPA kept address information on its former members including the Plaintiff.”

ISN’s full statement of defence is available as a PDF download here (471kb) and on our Court Evidence page.

PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean and all Barbados defendants default: fail to file defence in Ontario lawsuit

Ontario Civil Procedure Rules SAN

Claim: Defendants disobeyed Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure as deliberate strategy to ‘game’ legal system, delay process.

According to documents filed with Ontario Superior Court in the Donald Best vs Gerald Ranking civil lawsuit, after being served with the Statement of Claim and Jury Notice, all defendants from Barbados failed to file a defence, jurisdiction motion or otherwise respond to the lawsuit according to the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure.

Under Ontario Rule 19.02 (1) (a), each of the defaulting Barbados defendants is therefore deemed to have admitted all of the facts in Mr. Best’s Statement of Claim and has deliberately abandoned their right to defend before the Ontario Superior Court in a $20 million dollar lawsuit.

The defaulting Barbados defendants include:

  • Kingsland Estates Limited
  • Richard Ivan Cox
  • Eric Iain Stewart Deane
  • Marcus Andrew Hatch
  • Philip St. Eval Atkinson
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean (formerly ‘PricewaterhouseCoopers’).

To ignore a civil lawsuit in Ontario is serious business that has real consequences in law, including a legal presumption that the defaulters are admitting that everything in the Statement of Claim is true.

Mr. Mark Polley of Polley Faith LLP lawyers had been writing letters for five of the six the Barbados defendants starting only on the last day before they started to default, October 24, 2014. Mr. Polley did not file any defence or jurisdictional challenge within the 60 days allowed under the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure, or during eight weeks of courtesy time extensions. Presumably Mr. Polley acted upon instructions from each of his clients.

The Barbados defendants (with the exception of Mr. Deane, who has not been heard from since he was personally served in August 2014) recently brought a motion to have the court set aside their default, but this is apparently being contested by the plaintiff Donald Best as his lawyer Paul Slansky filed a counter motion.

Evidence filed with the court by the plaintiff states:

“From the start, Mr. Polley consistently, clearly and continually announced that his clients did not intend to respond to the Statement of Claim within the time allotted and in any manner consistent with the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure. Despite multiple warnings over an eight-week time extension, Mr. Polley’s clients advertently decided to not file a Defence or to bring a motion to challenge jurisdiction.”

“…an obvious attempt to game the judicial system by deliberate and contrived delay.”

“I verily believe, and include evidence, that the Barbados Defendants’ and Deane’s joint default and failure to file a defence and/or jurisdictional motion to my Statement of Claim was deliberate and strategic, and came after their extensive consideration, almost certainly in legal consultation with senior lawyers and other defendants, as to the possible benefits, consequences and risks of this strategy to default. The default of all of these defendants shows a unity of purpose and a considered strategy amongst these parties.”

Will the court set aside or uphold the default of the Barbados defendants? The hearing is scheduled for March 13, 2015.

Here are court documents newly posted on the Court Evidence page at DonaldBest.CA:

As always we remind our readers that none of the allegations has yet been proven in a court of law, and to our knowledge none of the defendants has filed a Statement of Defence. Visitors to this website are encouraged to examine the legal documents and other evidence posted here, to do independent research and to make up their own minds about the civil lawsuit known as ‘Donald Best v. Gerald Ranking et al’. (Superior Court of Justice, Central East Region: Barrie, Court File No. 14-0815)

Defendant Iain Deane admits all allegations in Donald Best vs. Gerald Ranking civil lawsuit. Iain Deane in default of Ontario Superior Court.

Lawyer Andrew Roman and his client Iain Deane (right)

Miller Thomson lawyer Andrew Roman and his client Iain Deane (right)

According to documents filed with Ontario Superior Court in the Donald Best vs Gerald Ranking civil lawsuit, after being personally served with the Statement of Claim and Jury Notice, defendant Iain Deane failed to file a defence or otherwise respond to the court.

Under Ontario Rule 19.02 (1) (a), Deane is deemed to have admitted all of the facts in Mr. Best’s Statement of Claim and has deliberately abandoned his right to defend himself before the Ontario Superior Court in a $20 million dollar lawsuit.

Default (failing to answer a civil lawsuit) is serious business in Canada. 

Because Iain Deane abandoned the court process, Mr. Best does not have to serve Deane with any further legal documents. Best’s lawyer Paul Slansky has petitioned the court for a ‘Default Judgement’ against Mr. Deane for 19 million dollars. The case will be heard in June of 2015. In the event of a positive decision for Mr. Best, all of Iain Deane’s personal assets would be at risk to the amount of $19 million dollars. According to some lawyers, even if Iain Deane transferred assets to his spouse or others those assets would still be at risk.

Why would Iain Deane place himself and his assets gained over a lifetime at risk in this manner?

Why would Iain Deane not defend the serious allegations against him?

Why would someone accused of gross violations of criminal law and civil wrongdoing not present themselves before the court? According to evidence filed with the Ontario Superior Court, the plaintiff Donald Best alleges that:

“Iain Deane’s default and failure to file a defence to my Statement of Claim is deliberate and strategic, and that his decision to default came after extensive consideration, almost certainly in consultation with his lawyers and other defendants, as to the possible benefits, consequences and risks of this strategy to default.”

Further, evidence filed with the court states that:

“Iain Deane is aware that he and his co-conspirators face strong evidence implicating them in the overall Campaign and other acts of wrongdoing.

Iain Deane is aware that filing a Statement of Defence or otherwise answering my Statement of Claim would expose him to cross-examination and the production of evidence for the court that would further implicate him and his co-conspirators in the Campaign of harassment, intimidation, violence and other criminal acts. He knows that he and his co-defendants cannot possibly refute the evidence against them,

Iain Deane knows that the evidence against him and his co-conspirators includes irrefutable voice recordings, business records, internet records, court transcripts and legal records showing the commission of various criminal acts in support of the overall Campaign. This knowledge is strong motivation for Iain Deane and other defendants to default, because they know that they have no viable defence, and they do not want to add evidence to the already strong case against them.”

A copy of the Motion Record for Default Judgment against Iain Deane is available at DonaldBest.CA: 20141222 Deane Default Motion (PDF 6.1mb)

As always we remind our readers that none of the allegations has yet been proven in a court of law, and to our knowledge none of the defendants has filed a Statement of Defence. Visitors to this website are encouraged to examine the legal documents and other evidence posted here, to do independent research and to make up their own minds about the civil lawsuit known as ‘Donald Best v. Gerald Ranking et al’. (Superior Court of Justice, Central East Region: Barrie, Court File No. 14-0815)

Toronto ex-cop Donald Best served entire prison sentence in “brutal” solitary confinement

Solitary Confinement prison cell

Solitary Confinement prison cell: What you see is larger, but very similar to the spartan reality of Donald Best’s cell.

A new editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal declaring solitary confinement as “cruel and unusual punishment” is no surprise to former Toronto Police Sergeant (and former prisoner) Donald Best, who describes his time in solitary confinement as “brutal”.

The Canadian Medical Association editorial says:

“Is this acceptable practice or is this torture?

Solitary confinement, defined as physical isolation for 22 to 24 hours per day and termed “administrative segregation” in federal prisons, has substantial health effects. These effects may develop within a few days and increase the longer segregation lasts.

Anxiety, depression and anger commonly occur. Isolated prisoners have difficulty separating reality from their own thoughts, which may lead to confused thought processes, perceptual distortions, paranoia and psychosis.

In addition to the worsening of pre-existing medical conditions, offenders may experience physical effects, such as lethargy, insomnia, palpitations and anorexia.”

From the Canadian Medical Association Journal editorial, November 17, 2014: Cruel and usual punishment: solitary confinement in Canadian prisons  (website article)

Alternative: Download the CMAJ editorial as a PDF 74kb

National Post: Solitary confinement is ‘cruel and usual punishment’

Herald: Prison suicide report blasts Corrections Canada

Mr. Best does not easily speak of his time in ‘the hole’. He says that he witnessed terrible events in the ‘Administrative Segregation Unit’ as solitary is euphemistically named by prison authorities. Best saw things he had never before seen or even imagined; despite his 35+ years in public and private law enforcement and as a deep-cover investigator against organized crime. He saw prisoners eating their own faeces and worse.

The Canadian Medical Association editorial says that solitary confinement “has substantial health effects” and worsens pre-existing medical conditions. Best knows this to be true from firsthand experience.    Read more

Miller Thomson LLP client claims lawyer Andrew Roman suggested publication of privileged documents on anonymous website

Andrew Roman Iain Deane SAN

Andrew Roman (left) and Iain Deane*

#2 in the Miller Thomson LLP series.

(Coming in #3: How Miller Thomson LLP personnel anonymously posted information on the Internet about the National Hockey League Players’ Association, NHLPA Executive Director Bob Goodenow, NHLPA associate counsel Ian Pulver and other National Hockey League personalities)

Evidence filed in Ontario Superior Court alleges that Miller Thomson LLP lawyer Andrew Roman** delivered legally privileged documents to his client, Iain Deane, and suggested that Deane should publish the documents on an anonymous website known for threats and harassment against court witnesses.

At the time, lawyer Andrew Roman represented defendant Deane in the ‘Nelson Barbados Group Ltd vs Cox’ civil lawsuit. These allegations have not yet been decided by the Ontario courts.

Iain Deane, writing under his own name on January 29, 2009 on the anonymously published Barbados Underground website, stated:

Iain Deane | January 29, 2009 at 8:01 AM |

Dear Barbados Underground,

I received last night a courtesy copy of a letter from senior litigation counsel at Miller Thomson LLP, Mr. Andrew J. Roman. Mr. Roman is the head of the department that that excellent (and very beautiful) and truthful lawyer, Miss Maanit Zemel works for.

Along with it was a personal note that seems to me to suggest that he would not be averse to me forwarding his letter on to Barbados Underground and I have written to him for confirmation of this. If he gives permission, I shall send a copy to Barbados Underground immediately. This letter sets out unequivocally the falsehoods (proven) in the scandals emanating directly from the offices of one K. William McKenzie (whom I met briefly, along with my cousin John Knox, in Toronto on November 3rd last year at my cross-examination). Mr Roman’s letter suggests the remedies that may now be sought.

Iain Deane’s January 28, 2009 Barbados Underground post and comments (PDF 126kb)

According to sworn evidence, the Ontario lawsuit ‘Nelson Barbados Group Ltd. vs Cox’ in which Iain Deane was a defendant against Nelson Barbados, was characterized by an ongoing long term campaign of criminal offenses, violence, intimidation and harassment against persons on the side of the Nelson Barbados Group Ltd litigation, and their families, with the intent of deterring… persons from seeking justice before any court.

Part of that ongoing campaign against witnesses and their family members involved the illegal and reckless distribution to the public of tens of thousands of confidential and privileged legal documents. As well, the campaign included anonymous threats and harassment via the Internet, including horrific threats to rape and murder family members of witnesses who testified on behalf of Nelson Barbados.

Our first post in this Miller Thomson LLP series details how forensic evidence shows that beginning in at least 2004 and continuing for many years, personnel from the Toronto law office of Miller Thomson LLP used the Internet to anonymously threaten, intimidate and harass Nelson Barbados witnesses who opposed Miller Thomson clients.

Iain Deane’s January 29, 2009 public statement that he had to seek permission of his lawyer Andrew Roman to post privileged documents on the Internet was not the first indication that the malicious publication of privileged documents was planned, coordinated and controlled as part of a campaign of harassment, threats, violence and other criminal acts against witnesses in the Nelson Barbados litigation. This is according to evidence filed in Ontario courts.

Read more

Affidavit of Donald Best, sworn December 10, 2012, added to DonaldBest.CA

20121210 Affidavit Excerpt SAN

DonaldBest.CA has just added the full December 10, 2012 affidavit of Donald Best to the collection of redacted court documents posted online. Previously, only excerpts of this affidavit were available in the website archives.

At 224 pages including exhibits, the affidavit is a resource for those seeking to understand what happened during the Nelson Barbados Group Ltd v Cox civil case before the Ontario Superior Court.

On July 18, 2014, Donald Best, a former Toronto police officer and undercover investigator, filed a civil lawsuit in Barrie, Ontario, Canada alleging wrongdoing by various defendants; including some of Canada’s largest and most prestigious law firms.

None of the allegations has yet been proven in a court of law, and to our knowledge none of the defendants has filed a Statement of Defence. Visitors to this website are encouraged to examine the legal documents and other evidence posted here and to make up their own minds about the civil lawsuit known as ‘Donald Best v. Gerald Ranking et al’. (Superior Court of Justice, Central East Region: Barrie, Court File No. 14-0815)

Download: Donald Best Dec 10, 2012 affidavit with exhibits (PDF 15.8mb)

All available downloads appear on the DonaldBest.CA Court Evidence page

Court evidence: Anonymous online threats against 82 year old widow originated from Miller Thomson Law Office

Miller Thomson Lawyers SAN

Allegations & evidence against Miller Thomson LLP and lawyers Andrew Roman, Maanit Zemel*

#1 in the Miller Thomson LLP series.

Evidence filed in Ontario Superior Court shows that beginning in at least 2004 and continuing for many years, personnel from the Toronto law office of Miller Thomson LLP used the Internet to anonymously threaten, intimidate and harass witnesses who opposed Miller Thomson clients in lawsuits.

In 2004 Mrs. Marjorie Knox, an elderly widow, lived in Barbados. She and her adult children were witnesses in a lawsuit against Kingsland Estates Limited. (Kingsland Estates Limited is now a defendant in the Donald Best v. Gerald Ranking civil case in Ontario Superior Court)

What began with Miller Thomson LLP’s anonymous Internet harassment of Mrs. Knox and her family, soon expanded into a large, coordinated online campaign where Kingsland supporters made vile anonymous threats; including to burn witnesses’ homes, to rape and murder Mrs. Knox and to sneak into the family home at night and slit her daughter’s throat while she slept.

The initial Miller Thomson LLP anonymous internet campaign against Mrs. Knox, her family and associated witnesses escalated from online threats to actual physical crimes in Barbados, Canada and other countries. These acts included mail theft, sabotage / vandalism of vehicles, home break-ins, assault, arson, and the 2012 gunpoint kidnapping and beating of John Knox at the family home by persons having a connection with Kingsland Estates Limited.

Faced with this campaign of threats and violence, Mrs. Knox was forced at age 86 to leave her homeland of Barbados. She presently lives somewhere in the United States and is fearful of returning to Barbados.

All this is according to sworn evidence filed in the Ontario courts. Our readers can review much of the evidence here at DonaldBest.CA and make up their own minds about the civil lawsuit known as ‘Donald Best v. Gerald Ranking et al’. (Superior Court of Justice, Central East Region: Barrie, Court File No. 14-0815)

How Miller Thomson LLP was caught making anonymous online threats against court witnesses

Today many people are aware that their Internet activities can reveal their true identity, location and other information. Despite this growing awareness, in the last few years the news has been full of cases where persons who thought themselves to be anonymous on the Internet were identified and sometimes arrested, sued or fired for their criminal online activities.

Ten years ago though, most people didn’t realize that sending an email, surfing the web or posting an anonymous comment on a website leaves electronic tell-tales that can lead right back to the source.

In 2004, the Miller Thomson law office personnel making the Internet threats were obviously unaware that they left a record of their ‘IP’ (Internet Protocol) number when they ‘anonymously’ sent emails and posted comments on the Knox family website, then called ‘Keltruth.com’. The law office personnel were also unaware that unlike most home internet set-ups where IP numbers frequently change, Miller Thomson LLP’s internet service is assigned fixed IP numbers that openly identify the law office and its address of 40 King Street West, Toronto.   Read more

Lawsuit claim: Faskens lawyer Gerald Ranking knowingly represented a phoney business entity, lied to the Supreme Court of Canada

lying lawyers Canada Barbados 5-SAN

Why would a lawyer name a non-existent business entity as his client in official court documents?

According to a recently filed lawsuit there are reasons why persons might use a phony business name in court; and strong evidence showing that this happened in the Nelson Barbados and Donald Best court cases.

A lawsuit and evidence filed in Ontario courts says that senior lawyers and their major Canadian law office fraudulently claimed to represent a fictional non-existent business entity they said was ‘PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean Firm’ (PWCECF). None of the allegations has yet been proven in a court of law.

According to the Statement of Claim in the Donald Best v Gerald Ranking lawsuit, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP lawyers Gerald Ranking and Sebastien Kwidzinski “fraudulently claimed to represent this non-entity and in the face of accusations to that effect, refused to provide proof to contradict clear evidence that (PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean Firm) did not and does not exist. Instead, they repeatedly bluffed, misled and lied to the Superior Court, the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada, insisting that (PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean Firm) did and does exist.” 

(See page 11, line 7 of the Best v Ranking Statement of Claim PDF 1.3mb)

Lawyer Gerald Ranking, Faskens law office and accountant Marcus Hatch have never been able to provide the official registration documents for ‘PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean Firm’, despite seven years of requests, demands and accusations made on the court record by plaintiffs and their lawyers in various legal actions from 2007 to 2014.

Barbados lawyer Alair Shepherd Q.C. confirms Ranking’s purported client doesn’t exist, never has.

“Neither I, nor my staff, nor staff of the Barbados Government found any Government or other records indicating that ‘PricewaterhouseCoopers East Caribbean Firm’ exists, or has ever existed, as a legally registered entity in Barbados.”

(January 4, 2013 Affidavit of lawyer Alair P. Shepherd Q.C. PDF 794kb)

Where did the million dollars go?

Further, in 2010 almost a million dollars in court-ordered costs was paid to this purported business entity ‘in trust’ through lawyer Gerald Ranking and Faskens law office. If the business entity was and is phony as the plaintiff says, that money must have gone elsewhere. Would that be money-laundering by Ranking and Faskens law office? If the costs order was obtained by fraud upon the courts using a phony company, does that mean that the million dollars is ‘proceeds of crime’ as defined in the Criminal Code of Canada?   Read more

Do we need a SIU ‘Special Investigations Unit’ to investigate criminal allegations against lawyers?

Ontario SIU

“Fostering public confidence by ensuring thorough and independent investigations that stand up to public scrutiny.”

For good reasons Canadians are reluctant to allow the police to investigate themselves when allegations of serious criminal offences by police officers surface. In Ontario we have the ‘SIU’ or ‘Special Investigations Unit’ to provide a level of public confidence that in the most serious cases, the police are not protecting their own over the public interest.

The SIU’s website states:

When police officers are involved in incidents where someone has been seriously injured, dies or alleges sexual assault, the SIU has the statutory mandate to conduct independent investigations to determine whether a criminal offence took place. The effective fulfilment of this mandate, with all of its associated challenges, remains critical to fostering public confidence in policing in the province by ensuring thorough and independent investigations that stand up to public scrutiny.

Even so, the SIU’s mandate and resources are far more restricted than many citizens would desire, but at least in the most serious cases there is independent investigation and oversight of the police.

That is not the case with the legal profession, where the lawyers themselves are tasked with investigating, charging, judging and sentencing of their fellow lawyers; the ones they went to law school with, articled and partied with and work and live with in the same professional and social circles.

How is ‘self-policing’ working out for Ontario’s lawyers?    Read more

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