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.

News media censorship of Julian Fantino’s Canadian Judicial Council intervention crumbles as Toronto Star publishes bombshell article

Former top-cop details evidence of corrupt acts by lawyers, police, judge

Four years after the Toronto Star first refused to cover the Donald Best story and deleted all mention of the name from the comments section of their website, the newspaper about-faced and published an article about former Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino applying to intervene in Best’s judicial review about the Canadian Judicial Council and Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

The Toronto Star article opens with the following bombshell statement:

“Former Conservative cabinet minister and provincial police commissioner Julian Fantino has accused a Canadian judge, lawyers and several police forces of acting improperly and even illegally in the conviction and jailing of a man for contempt of court.”

After the Toronto Star published first, the National Post, the Globe and Mail and a host of smaller outlets carried the same Colin Perkel Canadian Press story of corrupt acts by police, lawyers and a judge. (Toronto Star: Ex-federal cabinet minister Julian Fantino takes aim at judge, cops, lawyers)

Yes, Colin Perkel’s article contains important errors and omissions (some of which I correct below) and no link is provided to an actual copy of Fantino’s affidavit (pdf 8.7mb), but at least readers are now aware of an important story that was concealed from them.

The big story is that the after years of participating in a cover-up, the news media is finally acknowledging that this story is not going away, that it is important and that the supporting facts and evidence are as credible as they are disturbing.

In short, it seems likely that the Canadian news media came to the conclusion that the press could no longer withhold the Donald Best story from the public without further loss of credibility and relevance. It took the news media three months to mention Fantino’s September 28, 2017 sworn affidavit. Even then the media did not name any of the principal subjects in this story of corruption with the exception of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy whose name is on the official style of cause filed at court.

I’ll fix that naming omission in a moment, but first I want to address just a few of the important errors and omissions in Perkel’s article:

  • Contrary to the article’s statement that Justice Shaughnessy found me guilty of contempt of court in 2013, Shaughnessy found me guilty on January 15, 2010 at a civil court hearing that I was not told about and was not present for. Nobody represented me at the hearing. I was in Asia at the time.
  • Justice Shaughnessy convicted me based upon several lawyers’ provably false testimony – and also upon a deceitful affidavit by an ‘expert witness’ who concealed from the court that he was a serving Ontario Provincial Police detective sergeant corruptly taking bribes from the lawyers to provide them with access to confidential police information.
  • The lawyers falsely told Justice Shaughnessy in writing and orally on the court record that during a November 17, 2009 phone call with them, I had ‘confessed’ to receiving a certain court order. In fact I said exactly the opposite, that I had not received the order – but the corrupt lawyers lied to the judge. Too bad for the lawyers that I have recordings of the call that prove they lied to the judge.
  • I returned to Canada and applied to Justice Shaughnessy to remove my conviction and sentence. I presented forensically certified telephone recordings, transcripts and other credible evidence that proved the lawyers lied to the court to obtain my conviction.
  • At a hearing in May of 2013, Justice Shaughnessy refused to consider any new evidence showing my innocence. He did not listen to the recordings. He also refused to allow me to cross-examine the witnesses (lawyers and corrupt police) upon whose false evidence he had convicted and sentenced me in January 2010 while I was in Asia.
  • On May 3, 2013 Justice Shaughnessy refused to overturn my 2010 conviction for Contempt of Court and sent me to prison to serve the 3 month sentence he had already imposed in 2010.
  • After court ended on May 3, 2013, Justice Shaughnessy went to a backroom and there, off the court record and without a hearing, trial or transcript, secretly increased my prison sentence by 50% without notifying me. He secretly created a new warrant of committal with increased jail time that he gave only to the prison authorities. He did not file the new secret warrant with the courts or make mention of it anywhere in the records.
  • Later, higher courts denied me the right to appeal my conviction because I could not pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in court costs earlier awarded to the other side on the basis of their provably fabricated and false evidence.
  • I was not even allowed to cross-examine the lawyers and other witnesses that Shaughnessy relied upon to convict and imprison me. I was not allowed to cross-examine the corrupt Ontario Provincial Police officer. To this day, no court has listened to the forensically certified voice recordings of my telephone call with the lawyers that prove the lawyers lied to the court to convict and imprison me.
  • Every judgment of every reviewing court considered only the evidence that Justice Shaughnessy allowed. Every judgment of every reviewing court is tainted by the fact that Justice Shaughnessy and all the reviewing courts deliberately excluded the evidence that exonerated me. 
  • When I could not pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in previous court costs, the court refused to hear my appeal. I served 63 days in prison because I could not pay court costs awarded during a civil matter; with every minute spent in solitary confinement as I am a former police officer. Prison authorities said that solitary was the only place where they could keep a former police officer alive.

This is also the true story of how, when confronted with forensically certified telephone recordings and other irrefutable evidence proving that lawyers fabricated evidence and lied to the court to convict a person of contempt – the Canadian legal profession and courts closed ranks to save the corrupt lawyers, even when that meant sending an innocent man to prison.

The People behind the Corruption

Here are the names referred to in Fantino’s affidavits, the supporting exhibits and the underlying case filings:

Corrupt Ontario lawyers Sebastien Kwidzinski, Gerald Ranking & Lorne Silver lied to the courts.

Lorne S. Silver – Corrupt lawyer with the Toronto office of Cassels Brock & Blackwll LLP law firm. Fabricated false ‘Statement for the Record’ on November 17, 2009. Falsely informed Justice Shaughnessy that Donald Best had ‘confessed’ during a phone call to receiving a court order. Conspired with Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy and Gerald L. Ranking to backdate a court order ten full days. Admitted to putting Donald Best in prison to extort evidence and settlement in a different legal case filed in another jurisdiction – Florida.

Gerald L. Ranking – Corrupt lawyer with the Toronto office of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP law firm. Fabricated false ‘Statement for the Record’ on November 17, 2009. Falsely informed Justice Shaughnessy that Donald Best had ‘confessed’ during a phone call to receiving a court order. Lied to the court about serving court documents upon Donald Best. Conspired with Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy and Lorne Silver to backdate a court order ten full days. Fraudulently filed court papers for, and claimed to represent, a purported client that he knew was actually a fraudulent non-existent business entity. Received a million dollars in court costs for this non-existent entity – which money was undoubtedly laundered into a bank account that was not in the name of his phony purported client. Unlawfully hired and gave money to Jim Van Allen, a corrupt Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer, for illegal access to confidential police information. Directed Kwidzinski and Van Allen in crafting Van Allen’s deceptive affidavit. Admitted to putting Donald Best in prison to extort evidence and settlement in a different legal case filed in another jurisdiction – Florida.

Sebastien Kwidzinski – Previously junior lawyer with the Toronto office of Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP law firm. Now a corporate lawyer with Foresters Financial. Watched as corrupt lawyers Lorne S. Silver and Gerald L. Ranking fabricated false ‘Statement for the Record’ on November 17, 2009, said nothing when they placed the false evidence before the court to convict an innocent man. With Ranking, illegally hired corrupt Ontario Provincial Police officer Jim Van Allen to access confidential police data. Assisted Ranking and Van Allen in crafting Van Allen’s deceptive affidavit.

Corrupt OPP Detective Jim Van Allen (left) illegally made some cash on the side during the hunt for serial rapist / murderer Russell Williams

Detective Sergeant James ‘Jim’ Arthur Van Allen (OPP, now retired) Worked illegally ‘on the side’ as an unlicensed private investigator. Illegally took money from Ranking, Kwidzinski, Fasken law firm to provide confidential police information for use in a private civil action. Swore a deceptive affidavit that was used by Justice Shaughnessy to convict Donald Best of contempt of court. Surprisingly issued invoices to Ranking / Fasken Law Firm detailing his illegal activities. The invoices are filed as exhibits in the Donald Best case.

Former OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino swore in his affidavit:

  • “From my examination of the evidence that is already filed in court and was easily available to the courts and the CJC had they examined it, it is reasonable to conclude that OPP Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen’s inappropriate employment as a private investigator, his access to confidential information and the distribution of the same, and the very creation of his affidavit in order to benefit private parties in a civil lawsuit, represents a flagrant violation of various Provincial and Federal laws including the Police Services Act, the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, the Criminal Code and the Freedom of Information Act.
  • “In no small way, Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen violated his oath of office.”
  • “Detective Sergeant Van Allen’s conduct and behavior in relation to this case occurred while I was OPP Commissioner. Had I known about it at the time, I would have immediately ordered an investigation to gather all evidence to determine the details, extent and duration of his activities with a view to possible provincial and/or criminal charges against Van Allen and, potentially, charges against other involved persons.”
  • “I notice that Van Allen’s two redacted invoices are numbers 11 and 12 for the year 2009, which to me raises serious questions about how many other illegal investigations he had performed and which lawyer clients might have retained him previously. Had I known of his transgressions, I would have acted immediately as OPP Commissioner to deal with his rogue conduct.

Lawyer Andrew Roman and his client Iain Deane (right)

Andrew Roman – formerly senior partner with Toronto office of Miller Thomson LLP law firm. Sent threatening letter to directly to witness in controvention of Florida laws. Delivered legally privileged documents to his client Iain Deane and suggested they be published on website known for threats and harassment against Donald Best’s witnesses. Engaged in cover-up of anonymous threats to witnesses proven to have originated from Miller Thomson LLP’s Toronto office. Knew that co-counsel Ranking and Silver placed false evidence before the court but remained silent.

Surrounded by Law Society Benchers, newly elected Treasurer, Paul B. Schabas (centre), chairs his first meeting.

Paul SchabasBlake, Cassels & Graydon LLP lawyer defending lawsuit launched by Donald Best’s company. Member of the famed ‘Bay Street Boys Club’ and Treasurer of the Law Society of Ontario. Engaged in cover-up of anonymous threats to witnesses proven to have originated from Miller Thomson LLP’s Toronto computer network. Covered-up Andrew Roman’s illegal threatening letter to a witness. Knew and covered-up that co-counsel Ranking and Silver fabricated false evidence and that they lied to the court. Complaints to the law society about Schabas were whitewashed with no investigation and no independent review.

Justice Shaughnessy (r) & his lawyer, Law Society of Ontario bencher Peter Wardle

Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy – Justice of the Superior Court of Ontario. Former Regional Senior Judge for the Central East Region. On November 12, 2009, Shaughnessy backdated a court order ten full days to November 2, 2009, immediately placing Donald Best into contempt of court for failing to deliver business documents on November 10th – three days before Shaughnessy actually made the order. In January 2010, convicted Donald Best of Contempt of Court for, among other things, failing to deliver documents on November 10th – three days before Shaughnessy’s order to deliver the documents existed.

On May 3, 2013, after court ended Justice Shaughnessy went to a backroom and there, off the court record and without a hearing, trial or transcript, secretly increased Best’s prison sentence by 50% without notifying Best, who was unrepresented by a lawyer. Shaughnessy secretly created a new warrant of committal with increased jail time that he gave only to the prison authorities. He did not file the new secret warrant with the courts or make mention of it anywhere in the records.

Numerous other incidents of judicial misconduct as laid out in Donald Best’s complaints to the Canadian Judicial Council.

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

Norman Sabourin – Executive Director of the Canadian Judicial Council, summarily dismissed a complaint against Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy by former Toronto Police Sergeant (Detective) Donald Best, without an investigation and in the face of irrefutable evidence that the judge went to a back room after court ended, and – off the court record – illegally made a secret new court order increasing the Best’s sentence by a month. Under Mr. Sabourin’s hand, the CJC regularly whitewashes complaints against judges and remains an organization with no transparency, independent oversight or public accountability. Mr. Sabourin acts as ‘gate-keeper’ to dismiss complaints without investigation – without so much as looking at the court file or reading a transcript showing the judge’s comments or actions.

Notice to readers, including Persons and Entities mentoned in articles

As always, if anyone disagrees with anything published at DonaldBest.CA or wishes to provide a public response or comment, please contact me at info@donaldbest.ca and I will publish your writing with equal prominence. Comments left on articles are moderated about once a day. Or, of course, you can sue me and serve my lawyer Paul Slansky. You can find Mr. Slansky’s information here.

Photos have been included to put context to the article. Their use is the same as with other Canadian news outlets.

Readers are also encouraged to thoroughly study all the evidence available here at DonaldBest.CA, to perform independent research on the Internet and elsewhere, to consider all sides and to make up their own minds as to the events reported on DonaldBest.CA.

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

 

Domenic Violi arrest a reminder that Organized Crime has penetrated Canadian police for decades

Toronto Police clerk Erin Maranan charged in Mafia takedown (left) Corrupt OPP Detective Jim Van Allen (right)

  • Long History of Corrupt Hamilton & Toronto Police selling out to the mob.
  • Toronto Deputy Chief’s relative arrested for obtaining police data.
  • Toronto lawyers used corrupt Ontario Provincial Police detective to illegally access police records.

A four-year long joint RCMP/FBI project came to fruition last week with the arrest of Hamilton mobster Domenic Violi and a dozen other organized crime figures in Ontario and New York. Arrest warrants have been issued for several others on the run – including Violi’s younger brother Giuseppe (Joe) Violi. The brothers are the sons of former Calabrian Montreal boss Paolo Violi who was murdered by the Rizzuto mob in a 1978 hit.

Also making an appearance in Project OTremens are members of the New York-based Bonanno and Gambino crime families, including Bonanno capo Damiano Zummo and Gambino made man Paul Semplice.

Overshadowed by the high-profile Mafia types, however, is the connected arrest of former Toronto Police Forensic Identification clerk Erin Jade Maranan, who faces 24 criminal charges for providing confidential police information to organized crime.

Two of the people that Toronto Police clerk Erin Maranan provided information about to the mob were later murdered.

While there is no evidence that Maranan knew anything about the murders, it is reasonable to assume that any police employee would know that criminal organizations don’t seek confidential police information so they can send people Christmas cards.

If Erin Maranan is convicted she should be imprisoned for many years as a deterrent to other corrupt police personnel. As I revealed in my first article about her arrest, ‘More to this story than being told’ organized crime has always sought to gain inside information about police knowledge and operations.

“Organized Crime will never cease paying corrupt police to provide information and protection.”

Right from the start of my law enforcement career in 1975, I saw that there were always a few corrupt police officers and civilian employees willing to trade confidential information for money or other benefits. And the money is huge. Back in 1985 the Toronto Kung Lok Triad was paying my squad over a hundred-thousand dollars a year to protect a single gambling den from police raids. (We were in deep-cover pretending to be corrupt, took the money and then later arrested the mobsters. See here.)

That was 32 years ago and something tells me that the price of inside police information hasn’t gone down since then.

Hamilton Police on mob payroll

A few days ago Oakville-based private investigator Derrick Snowdy published on the internet several pages of a July 24, 2002 Halton Regional Police confidential intelligence report detailing how mobsters Domenic VIOLI and Paul GRAVELLE had a number of police officers on the payroll, including Hamilton cop Richard WILLS. (You can read the documents below – click to enlarge. I’ve redacted the Identity Information even though the full documents are out there in the wild on the internet. I cannot vouch for their veracity. My source is Derrick Snowdy’s Twitter account @jdsnowdy )

__

In 2010 Hamilton Police Inspector Richard ‘Rick’ Wills pleaded guilty to stealing $60,000 of drug bust money but was sentenced to 2 years ‘conditional’ house arrest – a kiss of a sentence for a corrupt senior cop who violated a position of trust.

Wills is also a defendant in a 2016 lawsuit by former Hamilton undercover cop Paul Manning. Manning – who penetrated the Hamilton mob as a deep cover police investigator under the alias ‘Paul Wright’ – alleges that Wills sold out and notified the mob that Manning was an undercover cop.

Manning’s lawsuit also alleges that several Hamilton police officers have ties to organized crime and that a Toronto cop was selling guns to Toronto gang members. A Toronto Star article laid it all out: Hamilton cop alleges betrayal by his force

Manning’s Twitter account: @mobinfiltrator   Website: mobinfiltrator.com

Toronto Police employee Davita Federico charged with illegally accessing police databases

In October of 2016 Toronto Police civilian Davita Federico, 30, was charged with breach of trust and other criminal offences for conducting unauthorized searches of police databases. News reports confirmed that Federico is related to then Deputy Chief of Police Mike Federico.

The case resurfaced last week as it was revealed that Toronto Police clerk Erin Maranan who was arrested at about the same time as Federico, was working for organized crime. There is no indication in news reports as to whether the Maranan and Federico cases are related in any way.

Corrupt Ontario lawyers Sebastien Kwidzinski, Gerald Ranking & Lorne Silver lied to the courts.

Toronto Lawyers hired corrupt Ontario Provincial Police detective to illegally access police information, resources

In October of 2009, Faskens lawyers Gerald Ranking and Sebastien Kwidzinski contacted and hired a corrupt Ontario Provincial Police Detective Sergeant to investigate the writer, Donald Best, in aid of Ranking’s clients and associated defendants in the ‘Nelson Barbados Group Ltd. vs. Cox’ civil case before the Ontario courts.

James ‘Jim’ Arthur Van Allen, the manager of the OPP’s elite Criminal Profiling Unit, secretly and illegally worked as an unlicensed private investigator for clients like lawyers Ranking and Kwidzinski who obviously appreciated his access to confidential police information, resources, contacts and investigative techniques.

And here, things get really corrupt and dirty. In 2007 it was reported to the Ontario Provincial Police that unknown persons, likely defendants in the Nelson Barbados Group Ltd. vs. Cox’ civil case, were threatening witnesses, lawyers and their family members in order to deter them from seeking justice in the courts.

Ranking and Kwidzinski’s clients and fellow defendants had been reported to the OPP as possible suspects involved in threatening witnesses, lawyers and their family members. Considering a lawyer’s family was being threatened, the reports probably even made their way to Van Allen’s Threats Assessment and Criminal Profiling Unit.

Nonetheless Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen took money to perform illegal investigations against the victim – in assistance to the suspects.

How dirty and corrupt is that?

Former OPP boss Julian Fantino

Former OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino swears affidavit

Jim Van Allen’s boss at the time, former OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino, recently swore an affidavit wherein he refers to Detective Sergeant James Van Allen and his illegal activities. Evidence in Julian Fantino’s sworn affidavit includes (summarized except verbatim excerpts in quotes):

  • “The prosecuting lawyers hired and submitted an affidavit from Mr. Van Allen. They claimed that he was a private investigator and failed to disclose that he was a serving police officer with access to police resources. This police officer obtained confidential information not available to the public which was then used by the Judge to convict, sentence and imprison Mr. Best for contempt.”
  • “Although the lawyers regularly referred to Van Allen as a ‘private investigator’ in their legal documents and on the court record in verbal submissions and discussions with the Judge, Jim Van Allen was not a licensed private investigator. James ‘Jim’ Arthur Van Allen, was in fact a serving Ontario Provincial Police Detective Sergeant and manager of the OPP’s Criminal Profiling Unit who was working secretly and illegally as an unlicensed private investigator.”
  • “From my examination of the evidence that is already filed in court and was easily available to the courts and the CJC had they examined it, it is reasonable to conclude that OPP Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen’s inappropriate employment as a private investigator, his access to confidential information and the distribution of the same, and the very creation of his affidavit in order to benefit private parties in a civil lawsuit, represents a flagrant violation of various Provincial and Federal laws including the Police Services Act, the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, the Criminal Code and the Freedom of Information Act.”
  • “In no small way, Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen violated his oath of office.”
  • “Detective Sergeant Van Allen’s conduct and behavior in relation to this case occurred while I was OPP Commissioner. Had I known about it at the time, I would have immediately ordered an investigation to gather all evidence to determine the details, extent and duration of his activities with a view to possible provincial and/or criminal charges against Van Allen and, potentially, charges against other involved persons.”
  • “It is inconceivable that all the involved lawyers and Judge were unaware that ‘private investigator’ and expert witness Jim Van Allen was an OPP police officer. Considering many factors, including Detective Sergeant Van Allen’s high public profile, the rules and normal vetting practices by lawyers and judges concerning Expert Witnesses, and the fact that Van Allen’s affidavit and redacted invoices were clearly suspect on their face to any ordinary person let alone lawyers and judges, it is unbelievable that nobody in that courtroom knew the truth about Van Allen or otherwise cared to find out.”
  • “I notice that Van Allen’s two redacted invoices are numbers 11 and 12 for the year 2009, which to me raises serious questions about how many other illegal investigations he had performed and which lawyer clients might have retained him previously. Had I known of his transgressions, I would have acted immediately as OPP Commissioner to deal with his rogue conduct.”

Notice to readers, including Persons and Entities mentoned in this article

As always, if anyone disagrees with anything published at DonaldBest.CA or wishes to provide a public response or comment, please contact me at info@donaldbest.ca and I will publish your writing with equal prominence. Comments left on articles are moderated at least once a day. Or, of course, you can sue me and serve my lawyer Paul Slansky. You can find Mr. Slansky’s information here.

Photos have been included to put context to the article. Their use is the same as with other Canadian news outlets.

Readers are also encouraged to thoroughly study all the evidence available here at DonaldBest.CA, to perform independent research on the Internet and elsewhere, to consider all sides and to make up their own minds as to the events reported on DonaldBest.CA.

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

British lawyer jailed four and a half years for fabricating evidence. Three corrupt Canadian Bay Street lawyers get pass for same crime.

Same crime – different outcomes for corrupt lawyers in England and Canada.

Jailed lawyer Diljit Bachada

British solicitor Diljit Bachada fabricated evidence and placed false documents before the court in a civil dispute. She was caught when it was found that her documents contained a copyright notice that didn’t come into existence until six months after the date of the forged documents. (Law Society Gazette: Solicitor jailed for falsifying legal documents)

As a result, Bachada will spend the next four and a half years as a guest of Her Majesty’s Prisons. A second solicitor, Tharinjit Biring, assisted by providing a false witness statement and will spend eighteen months in prison.

In Canada though, Ontario’s Law Society of Upper Canada covered up and whitewashed hundreds of crimes by lawyers who committed criminal offences against their clients – according to the Toronto Star’s Broken Trust investigation.

In my own case, three corrupt Bay Street lawyers fabricated evidence and committed other criminal offences – yet the Law Society of Upper Canada, the legal profession and the courts gave them a pass.

The Law Society of Upper Canada is an exclusive club, and once you’re in it the rule of law doesn’t always apply. It just wouldn’t do to send senior members of the club to jail – even if an innocent man must go to prison instead.

Corrupt Ontario lawyers Sebastien Kwidzinski, Gerald Ranking & Lorne Silver lied to the courts.

The three corrupt Bay Street lawyers in my case are:

On November 17, 2009, Ranking, Silver and Kwidzinski crafted a false ‘Statement for the Record’ of a telephone call they had with me, Donald Best. They falsely told a judge in writing and then orally in court that I had informed them during the call that I did receive a certain court order. In fact I had told them many times that I had not received the court order and they cross-examined me on this point.

The corrupt lawyers did not know that I was in Asia and had secretly recorded the phone call which proved they lied to me in the call and to the judge. Further, later evidence showed that Ranking and his secretary lied to the court about sending me the court order via courier.

Further, Ranking and Kwidzinski’s purported ‘Barbados registered’ client was in fact a phony, non-entity which had been fraudulently created for the purpose of deflecting liability from their real client. Ranking was of course never able to present registration documents for his phony client. In January 2013 he was again caught red-handed filing fraudulent documents intended to legitimize his non-existent client some three years after the case had ended.

Then there is the fact that Gerald Ranking and Fasken Martineau law firm received over a million dollars in settlement and court costs which could not have been transferred to their non-existent client. That, my friends, is a badge of fraud and money-laundering.

Oh… and did I mention that Ranking and Kwidzinski illegally hired a corrupt Ontario Provincial Police officer to perform an illegal investigation for them? It’s called bribery of a peace officer under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Yes, the Law Society of Upper Canada and the courts were and are well aware of all of this – but the Bay Street lawyers are members of The Club, and rule of law doesn’t apply to them.

Notice to readers, including Persons and Entities mentoned in this article

As always, if anyone disagrees with anything published at DonaldBest.CA or wishes to provide a public response or comment, please contact me at info@donaldbest.ca and I will publish your writing with equal prominence. Comments left on articles are moderated at least once a day. Or, of course, you can sue me and serve my lawyer Paul Slansky. You can find Mr. Slansky’s information here.

Photos have been included to put context to the article. Their use is the same as with other Canadian news outlets.

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

* Thanks to a loyal reader who informed me of the jailed British lawyers.

 

What Bill Browder didn’t know about Paul Schabas and Canada’s corrupt Bay Street lawyers

 

Cowardice and lack of Integrity at Ontario’s Law Society.

LSUC Treasurer Paul Schabas

Last week at the Cambridge Lectures, Hermitage Capital CEO and author Bill Browder spoke to a capacity crowd of top legal minds including Canada’s Chief Justice, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin.

But while Browder kept the audience on the edge of their seats with true stories of corruption and murder in Putin’s Russia, he didn’t know that the moderator beside him – the leader of Ontario’s Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC), Paul Schabas – continues to whitewash corruption and criminal acts by members of Ontario’s Bay Street legal cabal.

Without courage, integrity means little

Bill Browder was client and friend of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky; an honest and courageous law firm auditor who was falsely arrested after he exposed a corrupt scheme to steal hundreds of millions of dollars in Russian tax revenues. When Sergei refused to cower and retract his evidence, he was held without charges for almost a year, tortured and finally beaten to death in solitary confinement by Putin’s thugs.

Browder documented that story of the corrupt Russian justice system in his best-selling book Red Notice. His lobbying brought forth the USA’s Magnitsky Act that authorizes sanctions against the involved Russians, including the crooked police and justice officials who are servants in the architecture of corruption.

Now Browder and his family are also paying the price that comes from courageously standing against corruption. They are targets of death threats, surveillance operations, kidnapping plots and a well-financed media smear-campaign against Browder and his murdered lawyer.

“Bill Browder did not know that the moderator who introduced him, Paul Schabas, doesn’t have the integrity or courage to hold corrupt Bay Street lawyers accountable. By his continued silence, Paul Schabas facilitates corruption and protects rogue members of Ontario’s legal elites.”

Bill Browder with photo of his murdered lawyer Sergei Magnitsky*

Canadians don’t have to go to Russia to find corruption

Threats to rape and murder witnesses (1,2), falsifying evidence (3,4,11), lawyers bribing police (5,6,7), putting an innocent man in prison (3,4,11), and protecting the elites against charges of money-laundering (8,9,10) and other crimes doesn’t just happen in Russia: it happens in Canada as well.

And nobody knows that better than Toronto lawyer Paul Schabas, the current Treasurer of Ontario’s Law Society of Upper Canada.

In his capacity as a lawyer, as a law society bencher and finally as LSUC Treasurer, Schabas knew of and received every piece of evidence in the Nelson Barbados and Donald Best civil cases where three corrupt Bay Street lawyers (Lorne Silver, Gerald Ranking and Sebastien Kwidzinski) were caught red-handed fabricating evidence and lying to the court to imprison an innocent man.

Paul Schabas also was aware of the hundreds of anonymous internet threats against witnesses in the Nelson Barbados case – including threats to rape and murder the victims of a massive US$100 million dollar fraud. Schabas and his law society received solid forensic evidence that many of the anonymous internet threats against witnesses originated from the computer network at Toronto’s Miller Thomson LLP law firm. (1,2)

Schabas and the Law Society of Upper Canada ignored anonymous threats against witnesses proven to be emanating from Bay Street law firm Miller Thomson LLP

Paul Schabas and his law society also 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. (8,9,10)

Paul Schabas and the law society knew that lawyers Sebastien Kwidzinski and Gerald Ranking illegally paid a corrupt Ontario Provincial Police detective sergeant, James ‘Jim’ Van Allen, to work for them illegally on the side as an unlicensed private investigator, using police resources to gather evidence for their clients in a private civil case. (5,6,7)

Senior Ontario lawyers Gerald Ranking (center), Lorne Silver (right) and junior Sebastien Kwidzinski (left) lied to the courts.

Paul Schabas and the Law Society of Upper Canada ignored, whitewashed and covered up the entire mess to save three corrupt Bay Street lawyers: Lorne Silver, Gerald Ranking and Sebastien Kwidzinski.

And that was only the Nelson Barbados and Donald Best Ontario civil case.

As the Toronto Star newspaper’s Broken Trust series revealed, in the last few years the Law Society of Upper Canada also covered up several hundred other cases where Ontario lawyers committed criminal offences. (12,13)

At the Cambridge Lectures when Bill Browder gave his talk on corruption in Russia, he did not know that the moderator who introduced him, Paul Schabas, lacks the integrity and courage to hold corrupt Bay Street lawyers accountable. By his continued silence, Paul Schabas facilitates corruption and protects rogue members of Ontario’s legal elites.

“I will leave it to my readers to make what they will of the fact that in all these years, none of the people I name has sued me or asked the court for an injunction to remove my evidence and writings, or to curtail my future statements.”

Supporting Evidence for Statements of Fact

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

For three years I, Donald Best, have published court documents and exhibits (including voice recordings and forensic reports) that detail my ten year journey through Ontario’s civil courts and prove criminal and/or other serious wrongdoing by senior Ontario lawyers, police personnel and at least one judge.

The corrupt senior lawyers and those in the legal profession who protected them made sure that no jury of my peers would ever be able to consider this evidence in a court. They were successful in preventing my civil case from reaching trial because the legal profession and the Canadian justice system closed ranks and did everything possible to protect these senior lawyers who are members of a very exclusive club.

Nonetheless, for three years I’ve told my story here and at other venues, including in the Globe and Mail newspaper and at the University of Windsor Law Faculty’s National Self-Represented Litigants Project.

For three years I’ve publicly named certain senior lawyers and police officers – called them “corrupt”, and published evidence of their criminal acts and other wrong-doing. I have published the name of an Ontario Superior Court judge and provided evidence of his actions that several senior lawyers and a retired Crown Attorney call “despotic”, “disgusting”, “reprehensible”, “malicious” and “worthy of his removal from the bench.”(14)

I will leave it to my readers to make what they will of the fact that in all these years, none of the people I name has sued me or asked the court for an injunction to remove my evidence and writings, or to curtail my future statements. Read more

Net Neutrality and why it matters to you

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

Net neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers and governments regulating the Internet should treat all data on the Internet the same, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or mode of communication.

Suppose governments or corporations could slow or restrict your access to various websites – or restrict visits to your own website – based upon the published political, social or religious opinions and facts? It is a form of censorship that strikes at the very heart of free speech, personal freedoms and democracy.

Net neutrality forces all internet suppliers to treat each piece of traffic in the same manner.

And wouldn’t you know it… powerful forces want to allow internet suppliers to control and restrict what you are allowed to access on the internet.

If you value your freedom to create or visit any internet venue – you need to become knowledgeable about Net Neutrality, and you need to start aggressively asserting your rights.

Use ’em or lose ’em.

Things to do about Net Neutrality

1/ Have a listen to Tay Zonday above. You remember Tay… as a teenager he broadcast his original song ‘Chocolate Rain‘ on YouTube. Ten years later the original post has almost 114 million viewers.

2/ Go to the website battleforthenet.com and familiarize yourself with the Net Neutrality and the political side of why your freedom is at risk.

3/ Write, broadcast and agitate about Net Neutrality.

How the establishment media kills my story

Hired Gun Journalist Colin Perkel

In my own case, the Bay Street Cabal lawyers have done everything they can to restrict my telling the public about their misconduct and criminal activities like perjury, obstructing justice and fraud upon the courts.

The National Post shadow banned me. The Toronto Star erased all my comments, and the Toronto Sun published Colin Perkel’s two commissioned fake news pieces about my lawyer, Paul Slansky.

But, thanks to net neutrality, I still get my message out to tens of thousands of people every month through my blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts.

If we lose net neutrality, the first to profit will be those who wish to push a false narrative – and the biggest losers will be ordinary people.

Net Neutrality matters to you, your freedom and democracy. Don’t lose it!

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!

 

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.  

. Read more

Ontario’s Bay Street Cabal and law society circle the wagons to protect judge; Ignoring conflicts of interest and the public trust – #2 in a Series

Law Society of Upper Canada sides with Judge over misconduct some lawyers call “disgusting”, “reprehensible”, “worthy of removal from the bench.”

Surrounded by Law Society Benchers, newly elected Treasurer, Paul B. Schabas (centre), chairs his first meeting.

Our first article in this series exposed how Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy hired a conflicted lawyer to represent him in an ongoing Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision about Justice Shaughnessy.*

Law Society of Upper Canada senior bencher Peter C. Wardle is Justice Shaughnessy’s new attorney. However, in a closely related matter Wardle also represented two lawyers who are almost certain to be called as primary witnesses in a CJC investigation or public inquiry into allegations of serious misconduct against Justice Shaughnessy.**

Of the over 50,000 licensed lawyers in Ontario, Justice Shaughnessy just happens to be represented by Mr. Wardle – the only lawyer in Canada who:

  1. represented two important witnesses to the judge’s misconduct in a closely associated legal matter, and,
  2. represented eleven high profile law firms and lawyers (including the current Treasurer of the law society) in the same closely related matter, and,
  3. is a senior bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada (‘LSUC’) – the regulator of all lawyers and paralegals in the province that has been extensively involved in this very series of legal actions, and,
  4. works closely with LawPRO, the law society’s company insuring lawyers in Ontario that is also involved in legal matters closely associated with the current Judicial Review.

Senior bencher Peter Wardle represented lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver during a civil law suit launched in July, 2014 by former Toronto Police Sergeant (Detective) Donald Best. Wardle represented a total of 11 lawyers and law firms in that lawsuit, including some of Canada’s largest Bay Street law firms. (Best was forced to discontinue that lawsuit in 2015 when he could not pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in court costs previously awarded against him on the basis of false testimony by Ranking and Silver.***)

The Law Society of Upper Canada and its insurance company LawPRO have been following this series of actions in the courts since at least 2009, and became even more involved in 2014 when Donald Best sued lawyers Gerald Ranking, Lorne Silver, bencher Paul Schabas and other people and entities who acted in the civil lawsuit that saw Best maliciously convicted of contempt of court and sentenced to prison upon provably fabricated and false evidence.

Paul Schabas

Today, Paul Schabas is law society’s highest elected official, the Treasurer. Schabas and his Blakes law firm appeared extensively before Justice Shaughnessy on the Best legal cases and acted in concert with lawyers Ranking and Silver during many motions and submissions against Best and his company.

As a senior bencher, Peter C. Wardle is an elite on the inside of the law society. He regularly acts for the law society’s LawPRO lawyer insurance arm and probably did so during Donald Best’s civil lawsuit against Ranking, Silver and Schabas. He serves on internal committees and often works directly with Treasurer Paul Schabas.

Wardle undoubtedly gained privileged, insider information about the case and about Justice Shaughnessy’s actions during the case, from his clients Ranking, Silver and Schabas. Wardle also likely gained similar insider information about the case that he obtained formally or informally as a direct result of his position as senior bencher and/or his relationship working with LawPRO.

Many persons find this arrangement and the relationship between the Law Society of Upper Canada, LSUC senior management, LawPRO insurance, Bay Street law firms and Justice Shaughnessy, to be all too cozy.

Who is looking after the public trust and the broader interests of lawyers in Ontario in this Judicial Review of the Canadian Judicial Council? With these potential and real conflicts of interest, both ordinary citizens and lawyers I’ve spoken with have little confidence that the Law Society of Upper Canada is doing anything other than circling the wagons to protect a judge facing strong – even irrefutable – evidence of serious misconduct.

The question is asked by many:

Are the law society’s actions in this judicial review being driven by the broad public and professional interests… or, are the law society’s actions more closely aligned with the personal agendas of the involved LSUC senior leadership and Bay Street law firms?

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

Lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver are witnesses to Justice Shaughnessy’s serious misconduct

Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver are connected to Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct through a series of civil court actions involving Donald Best, and due to their presence with Justice Shaughnessy on May 3, 2013 during at least some parts of the judicial misconduct.

The lawyers were also involved in a previous incident during the same civil case where Justice Shaughnessy backdated a court order for them on November 12, 2009 – backdated ten days to November 2, 2009.****

Here is a basic summary of what lawyers Ranking and Silver witnessed and may have witnessed during Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct on May 3, 2013:

  • On May 3, 2013, both Ranking and Silver were present in court and witnessed Justice Shaughnessy declare (on the transcript) that he would not set aside his January 15, 2010 conviction of self-represented litigant Donald Best for contempt of court. Justice Shaughnessy ordered that the stay on his original January 15, 2010 warrant for the arrest and imprisonment of Donald Best would now be lifted, and that Best would be taken to prison to serve his 3 month sentence according to Justice Shaughnessy’s January 15, 2010 warrant of committal and court order.
  • Ranking and Silver also witnessed Justice Shaughnessy order that Best was not to have input into any court order to be made on that day May 3rd 2013 and that Ranking and Silver would prepare an order for Justice Shaughnessy.
  • Ranking and Silver also witnessed the judge order that Donald Best was never again to be brought before him, and that some other judge must deal with Best in the future.
  • Ranking and Silver witnessed that court ended, the judge left and then the court staff packed up and left. Court Police allowed Donald Best 10 minutes to pack up, after which he was taken in handcuffs to the basement cells and then to prison.
  • After court had finished on May 3, 2013 and Donald Best had been taken away to serve his three-month sentence, Justice Shaughnessy went to a backroom and secretly signed a new and secret warrant of committal that increased the Best’s prison time by a month. Justice Shaughnessy did this off the court record, out of court, without telling the self-represented prisoner and without placing the new warrant of committal or any mention of it or the increased sentence into the court record. This was all contrary to the sentence and order the judge himself delivered earlier in court on the record.
  • The judge gave the only copy of the new warrant to prison authorities after ordering that Best was not to have knowledge of the creation of the court order.
  • As secretly planned and arranged by Justice Shaughnessy, Best only discovered the increased sentence when informed by authorities at the prison.

The above shows that lawyers Ranking and Silver are, at the very least, important witnesses to parts of Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct on May 3, 2013 – raising questions about conflicts of interest now that Peter C. Wardle is representing Justice Shaughnessy.

Complicating the conflicts of interest even further, lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver may not be just witnesses. Court transcripts indicate it is also possible that these lawyers assisted Justice Shaughnessy in carrying out his judicial misconduct.

Details on the Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver story are coming next week.

New Series: Abandoning Public Trust: Conflicts of Interest by Ontario’s legal profession

The series…

Part 1: Justice Bryan Shaughnessy chooses conflicted lawyer as personal counsel in Judicial Review.

Part 2: Ontario’s Bay Street Cabal and law society circle the wagons to protect judge; Ignoring conflicts of interest and the public trust.

Part 3: Did Lawyers Ranking and Silver know of Justice Shaughnessy’s intentions and actions? Did they assist in his judicial misconduct?

Part 4: Should conflicted lawyer Peter C. Wardle resign from representing Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy?

Part 5: Abandoning the Public Interest. When Canada’s legal profession circles the wagons to save club members, who looks after the interests of Canadians?

Part 6: Previous incident – How Justice Shaughnessy backdated a court order for lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver.

… Additional articles in this series will be added later.

Notes

*  Justice Bryan Shaughnessy chooses conflicted lawyer as personal counsel in Judicial Review.

**  Federal Court refuses to release judge from Judicial Review of Misconduct Complaint

*** Best secretly and legally recorded phone call with lying lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver

**** Details and court exhibits coming in Part 6 – Previous incident – How Justice Shaughnessy backdated a court order for lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver.

 

Justice Bryan Shaughnessy chooses conflicted lawyer as personal counsel in Judicial Review – #1 in a series

Law Society of Upper Canada senior bencher Peter C. Wardle is Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy’s new attorney in an ongoing judicial review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision. However, in a closely related matter Wardle also represented two lawyers who are almost certain to be called as witnesses in a CJC investigation or public inquiry into misconduct allegations against Justice Shaughnessy.

Complicating the conflicts of interest even further, lawyers Gerald Ranking (left) and Lorne Silver may not be just witnesses. Court transcripts indicate it is also possible that these lawyers assisted Justice Shaughnessy in carrying out his judicial misconduct.*

This change of counsel comes after a Federal Court refused to release Justice Shaughnessy as a party in the judicial review of a CJC decision about the judge.

The unprecedented January 17, 2017 Federal Court decision also ordered Justice Shaughnessy to personally pay the legal costs of Donald Best, a self-represented litigant that the Ontario Superior Court Justice sent to prison for contempt of court.**

No other judge in Canadian history has been ordered to pay legal costs.***

Did Conflict of Interest complaints cause Ontario’s Attorney General to resign as Justice Shaughnessy’s lawyer?

Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General (‘AGO’) no longer represents Justice Shaughnessy in the ongoing Judicial Review. The AGO had been acting as the judge’s personal lawyer for almost a year – since April 2016.

Justice Shaughnessy’s new lawyer filed a document in court indicating that Justice Shaughnessy and the AGO went their separate ways on March 1, 2017. This was a week after DonaldBest.CA published an article describing how, with the AGO acting as the judge’s personal attorney, nobody was acting for the public interest at the Judicial Review.**

Readers complained to Ontario Attorney General

Yasir Naqvi, MLA AGO

Following publication of that DonaldBest.CA article, at least half a dozen readers reported that they had written to Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi expressing disapproval that the AGO was acting as personal lawyer to a judge accused of serious misconduct, instead of acting for the people of Ontario and the public interest.

Readers questioned both the optics and actual conflicts of interest in having the AGO personally representing a judge before whom Crown Prosecutors appear daily asking for convictions, sentences, court orders and search warrants. Some readers who are also lawyers opined that Justice Shaughnessy should have hired independent counsel from the start, albeit paid for by the public purse.

Justice Shaughnessy’s latest choice of lawyer, however, only ramps up questions about conflicts of interest and the optics of the apparent relationships between big law firms, the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, the Attorney General of Canada – and a Federally appointed judge accused of serious, premeditated misconduct.

Shaughnessy’s Judicial Misconduct

  • “In all my years of practicing law, this is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen a judge do.”
  • “Reprehensible misconduct by a judge that undermines the very foundations of justice.”
  • “Shaughnessy’s misconduct is worthy of his removal from the bench.”

The above comments were made by several senior lawyers, including a retired Crown Attorney, upon examining evidence proving that on May 3, 2013 in a backroom after court had finished, Justice Shaughnessy secretly increased Donald Best’s jail sentence and secretly created and substituted a new warrant of committal – off the court record, without informing the prisoner and in contravention of the sentence and order the judge himself delivered earlier in court on the record.****

Judicial Review of Canadian Judicial Council’s summary dismissal of Best’s complaint

While Donald Best was in prison, another Superior Court Justice, apparently horrified at what Justice Shaughnessy had done, released Best after his newly hired lawyer Paul Slansky filed a writ of habeas corpus. Best spent a total of 63 days in prison, with every day served in brutal solitary confinement as he is a former Toronto Police sergeant/detective.*****

Best later filed a complaint against Justice Shaughnessy with the Canadian Judicial Council. After CJC Director Norman Sabourin summarily dismissed the complaint without an investigation and without providing reasons, Best’s lawyer filed an Application for a Judicial Review of the CJC’s actions.

It is this Judicial Review that is now making its way through the Federal Court of Canada.

New Series: ‘Abandoning Public Trust: Conflicts of Interest by Ontario’s legal profession’

This is Part 1 of our new series exploring conflicts of interest in Ontario’s legal profession. The series starts with examples noted by former Toronto Police Sergeant Donald Best during his eight-year journey through Ontario’s justice system after being convicted of contempt of court and imprisoned on provably fabricated and false evidence.

As the series progresses, we will broaden our view to examine how the legal profession’s unenforceable ‘rules’ and standards about conflicts of interest are designed to ease public and client concerns while actually providing as much latitude as possible to lawyers and law firms in their quest for profits.

Abandoning Public Trust: Conflicts of Interest by Ontario’s legal profession

The series…

Part 1: Justice Bryan Shaughnessy chooses conflicted lawyer as personal counsel in Judicial Review.

Part 2: Ontario’s Bay Street Cabal and law society circle the wagons to protect judge; Ignoring conflicts of interest and the public trust.

Part 3: Did Lawyers Ranking and Silver know of Justice Shaughnessy’s intentions and actions? Did they assist in his judicial misconduct?

Part 4: Should conflicted lawyer Peter C. Wardle resign from representing Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy?

Part 5: Abandoning the Public Interest. When Canada’s legal profession, regulators and government circle the wagons to save club members, who looks after the interests of Canadians?

Part 6: Previous incident – How Justice Shaughnessy backdated a court order for lawyers Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver.

… Additional articles in this series will be added later.

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