Fraud, theft and money laundering by OPP union's top brass

Police corruption is a form of police misconduct designed to obtain financial benefits, other personal gain, or career advancement for officers in exchange for not pursuing, or selectively pursuing, an investigation or arrest. One common form of police corruption is soliciting or accepting bribes in exchange for not reporting organized drug or prostitution rings or other illegal activities. Another example is police officers flouting the police code of conduct in order to secure convictions of suspects — for example, through the use of falsified evidence.

OPP union investigated for fraud, theft, it claims

Postby Thomas » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:54 am

A RCMP warrant executed at the headquarters of the Ontario Provincial Police Association (OPPA) alleges there is evidence of criminal fraud, theft and laundering the proceeds of crime, the union has confirmed to its members.

In a “Blastout” (internal newsletter) to OPP officers Thursday, obtained by the Toronto Sun, the association advises the search warrant executed at its headquarters on March 6 makes a number of allegations of criminal wrongdoing.

The warrant alleges reasonable grounds to believe the Criminal Code offences of theft, breach of trust, fraud, laundering the proceeds of crime and fraudulent concealment have occurred, the Blastout says.

RCMP Const. Jean Juneau would not confirm or deny the content of the search warrant but noted the investigation is very much in the preliminary stages and no charges have been laid.

An OPPA spokesman said the information was provided to its members in the interest of transparency.

The newsletter states an internal investigation is underway by the independent legal firm of Stikeman Elliot under the oversight of acting CAO Michael Briscoe.

OPPA president and CEO Jim Christie and vice-president Martin Bain took voluntary leaves of absence after the raid, while chief administrative officer Karl Walsh was placed on administrative leave.

“The day to day operations of the association continues with members services being out top priority,” the newsletter says.

http://www.torontosun.com/2015/03/13/op ... to-members

http://www.windsorsquare.ca/archives/81 ... ed-by-rcmp

http://www.simcoe.com/news-story/547557 ... aud-theft/

http://www.insidehalton.com/news-story/ ... aud-theft/
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Ontario police union leaders defrauded members

Postby Thomas » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:19 pm

Ontario police union leaders defrauded members through sweetheart business deal, court documents allege

Three senior members of the union representing Ontario Provincial Police officers, a high-profile Toronto lawyer and two business associates engaged in a massive deception to conceal ownership in a travel agency catering to first responders, according to allegations made in court documents unsealed Friday.

The connections between the Ontario Provincial Police Association, its lawyer and others form a major part of a large RCMP fraud investigation alleging both grand misappropriation — such as condo investments in the Caribbean — as well as mundane office expenses and vacation time swindles.

So far, police have not made any arrests or laid any charges and nothing has been proven in court.

The affidavit to obtain a search warrant names Jim Christie, the union president, Martin Bain, vice-president, and Karl Walsh, chief administrative officer. Mr. Christie and Mr. Bain are sworn police officers with the OPP, working as Detective Sergeant and Constable, respectively. Mr. Walsh was previously a Constable but is no longer an active police officer; he was a failed Liberal candidate in Barrie during the 2011 provincial election.

The affidavit also names Andrew McKay, a Toronto lawyer who often represents police associations and officers accused of wrongdoing, and two business partners in the travel agency, Klara Kozak and Noel Francis Chantiam.

The police investigation began last year when the OPP received complaints from four members of the OPP Association alleging fraudulent activity by some senior members, the affidavit says. The OPP referred the complaint to the RCMP.

“I have reasonable grounds to believe that the subjects of investigation, namely, Walsh, Christie, Bain, McKay, Kozak and Chantiam, have acted together to commit criminal offences of fraud and theft against the OPPA,” RCMP Sgt. Gordon Aristotle, an officer with an investigative background in financial crimes, wrote in an affidavit filed in court.

“I believe that the subjects of investigation have organized various schemes, some which include companies for which they hold hidden beneficial ownership, that have been setup in order to obtain exclusive rights for services required by the OPPA. These services pertain to but are not limited to the travel and investment needs of the OPPA. In addition, some of the services offered by these companies are being promoted to the OPP membership throughout the province.”


Last year, all employees of the Ontario Provincial Police Association were, without explanation, instructed to exclusively use a new travel service provider, First Response Travel Group, which was formed in June 2014.

The union’s chief administrative officer, directed all employees to use the company for all travel needs, including arranging the association’s golf tournament, annual general meeting and spring board meeting. First Response was also marketed to its 6,000 uniformed members to use for personal travel.

Corporate documents list Ms. Koziak and Mr. Chantiam as the partners in First Response. First Response meanwhile is listed as a division of Leximco Ltd., whose directors are Ms. Koziak and Mr. McKay.

However, internal emails show that Mr. Christie, Mr. Bain and Mr. Walsh also owned shares in First Response. “In order to hide their ownership in First Response, the shares belonging to Bain, Walsh and Christie were being held in trust by Kozak through an offshore investment scheme,” investigators allege.

In order to hide their ownership in First Response, the shares … were being held in trust by Kozak through an offshore investment scheme

Near the start of 2014, Msrs. Walsh, Christie and McKay took two trips to the Bahamas. Afterwards, they started to make “higher risk investment decisions” on behalf of the association, a stark deviation from the normally conservative investment strategy it historically followed, the affidavit says.

One of the offshore investments wasn’t discovered by the rest of the association’s board until office staff requested back-up paperwork for a $20,000 charge to Mr. Walsh’s OPPA-issued credit card when the annual report was being prepared, the affidavit says.

Mr. Walsh then explained it was a down payment on two condos in Nassau, Bahamas. One was valued at $1,563,000 and the other at $625,000.00. He said they was being bought as high-end vacation rental property investments for the OPPA, the document claims.

The paperwork showed the condos had been bought in Mr. Walsh’s personal name with an address corresponding to Mr. McKay’s office, the affidavit says.

The purchases had never been discussed by the board, the affidavit says and some complained it did not make sense since the association is a not-for-profit association.

In August 2014, Mr. Walsh allegedly wired $100,015 of OPPA funds to the Cayman Islands to buy shares in New Income Fund Inc. The investment was described as a “high-risk, high-yielding offshore investment that is not regulated in Canada and there is no guarantee that the principal invested will be returned.”

Mr. Walsh also allegedly said he intended to endorse the fund and encourage members to invest in it, the affidavit says.

The RCMP are also looking into other allegations of enrichment by the three OPPA executives, relating to allegedly fraudulent claims for vacation leave payouts and personal expenses, that predate the other allegations, although they are not the primary focus of the probe, the affidavit says.

“The totality of the alleged behavior demonstrates an ongoing breach of trust,” says the affidavit.

The OPP Association is expected to release a statement on Friday. Earlier this week, it had announced that Mr. Christie and Mr. Bain had voluntarily stepped aside and that Mr. Walsh had been placed on administrative leave.

Mr. McKay and Ms. Kozak have previously declined to speak to the Post about the allegations.

More to come…

http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/03/13 ... legations/
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RCMP alleging fraud, theft by OPP union officials: OPPA

Postby Thomas » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:35 pm

Association tells its members that the RCMP are alleging Criminal Code violations including theft, fraud, breach of trust and laundering the proceeds of crime.

The RCMP is alleging criminal fraud, theft and laundering the proceeds of crime by top members of the Ontario Provincial Police Association, according to a newsletter sent to OPP officers Thursday.

Three senior Ontario Provincial Police union officials stepped aside Monday, in the wake of an RCMP criminal investigation that involved a raid of the OPPA union headquarters last week.

In a brief internal newsletter to union members on Thursday — and obtained by the Star — the association tells its members that the RCMP are alleging Criminal Code violations including theft, fraud, breach of trust and laundering the proceeds of crime.

“The Association would like to point out that the RCMP investigation is in early stages, and that no charges have been laid,” the OPPA says in the newsletter.

OPPA president Jim Christie, vice-president Martin Bain and chief administrative officer Karl Walsh — who was the provincial Liberal candidate in Barrie during the 2011 election — took voluntary leaves of absence, the union said in a statement earlier this week. Walsh has been placed on administrative leave by the OPPA’s board of directors.

The communiqué also states an internal investigation is being conducted by legal firm of Stikeman Elliott.

“Counsel from Stikeman Elliot is conducting the investigation under the oversight of the Acting CAO, Michael Briscoe.”

There are about 6,200 uniformed and 3,600 civilian members of the OPPA.

http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2015/ ... -oppa.html
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Fraud probe led to raid on OPP: documents

Postby Thomas » Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:55 pm

TORONTO - Court documents show an RCMP raid on the offices of top Ontario Provincial Police union leaders was part of an investigation into allegations of theft, fraud and laundering of proceeds of crime.

Search warrants and production orders related to the March 6 raid say there are "reasonable grounds for believing" the offences have been committed, along with criminal breach of trust and fraudulent concealment.

Warrants were issued for searches at several locations, including the Ontario Provincial Police Association's offices in Barrie, Ont., three vehicles registered in its name and a Toronto travel company.

The documents were initially sealed by the Ontario Superior Court but released by a judge today.

No charges have been laid but the criminal investigation has prompted several senior union officials to step aside.

The union said earlier this week its president Jim Christie and vice-president Martin Bain, whose offices were searched, have taken voluntary leaves of absence.

The union's chief administrative officer, whose office was also searched by the RCMP, has been placed on administrative leave.

The Ontario Provincial Police Association said in a statement it had fully co-operated with the criminal investigation by handing over items identified in the search warrant.

On Monday, RCMP Const. Jean Juneau said the investigation was in its preliminary stages and "there are absolutely no charges pending right now.''

By The Canadian Press

http://www.bramptonguardian.com/news-st ... documents/
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OPP union leaders stole and laundered funds, RCMP allege

Postby Thomas » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:27 am

Probe by Mounties focuses on 3 senior union managers, according to search warrants

The RCMP is investigating allegations of fraud, breach of trust and money laundering by three senior managers of the Ontario Provincial Police union, search warrant documents show.

The information comes from an affidavit used by the RCMP to obtain search warrants and has not been proven in court. None of the managers named in the court documents has been charged with a criminal offence.

But the RCMP believe senior managers at the Ontario Provincial Police Association were involved in:

- The unusual investment of union money in condos in the Bahamas.
- The formation of a company to provide exclusive travel services for both union business and personal travel by members
- The formation of a consulting company to advise the union about investments, including a three-year deal that would bill the union $5,000 a month.
- Questionable vacation and travel expenses billed to the union, in some cases totaling more than $100,000 a year.


The affidavit focuses on the dealings of three senior managers of the union, which represents more than 6,200 uniformed and 3,600 civilian members of the OPP.

The RCMP probe began last October following complaints by union staff alleging fraud.

The three senior managers named in the documents are:

- President James (Jim) Christie.
- Vice-president Martin Bain.
- Chief administrative officer Karl Walsh.

In addition to their management roles with the Ontario Provincial Police Association, or OPPA, all three are also OPP officers. Christie holds the rank of detective-sergeant while the other two men are constables. Walsh ran unsuccessfully for the provincial Liberals in the Barrie riding in 2011.


The documents also focus on the managers' business dealings with Toronto lawyer Andrew McKay.

Last week, the RCMP raided the union's head office and Christie and Bain took voluntary leaves of absence, while Walsh was been placed on administrative leave. A union statement issued at the time said the managers' leaves should not be considered an admission of wrongdoing.

The RCMP affidavit alleges union managers "have organized various schemes, some of which include companies for which they hold hidden beneficial ownership that have been set up in order to obtain exclusive rights for services required by the OPPA. These services pertain but are not limited to the travel and investment needs of the OPPA."

The affidavit was written by RCMP Sgt. Gordon Aristotle, an officer with a background investigating fraud.

The dealings the RCMP says it uncovered include:

Setup of First Response Travel Group

Aristotle says First Response Travel Group was formed in June 2014. According to the documents, Walsh then "directed all OPPA employees to use this company exclusively for OPPA travel needs," including travel arrangements for the union's annual golf tournament and other union events. Total value of the contact was estimated at $400,000.

The documents also allege the decision to move all union travel to First Response was made "without cause or explanation." The company was also promoted to union members for their personal travel though the union's website and its magazine Beyond the Badge.

Citing internal emails, the documents suggest that Walsh, Christie, Bain and McKay "all owned shares in First Response" but did not disclose it to the union's board of directors or members. The documents also say the company's ownership was not disclosed to the union's auditor.

The RCMP documents state that First Response is a division of Leximco, a corporation which lists McKay among its directors.

Offshore investments

Police say they were told by witnesses that union management made high-risk investments in real estate properties in the Bahamas. "This has been a noticeable deviation from the historically conservative investment strategy of the OPPA," the documents say.

According to the documents, Walsh charged a $20,000 deposit for the purchase of two condo properties to his union credit card. One of the properties was valued at $1.5 million, the other at $625,000. According to the search warrant documents, the purchase was not discussed with union board members and "did not make sense to some of the OPPA employees as the OPPA is a non-profit organization."

The documents say the deposit for one of the condos was "made in Walsh's personal name, with an associated mailing address belonging to McKay's office." The documents also state that McKay twice travelled to the Bahamas with Walsh and Christie in 2014.

PIN Consulting Group

The documents allege this company was set up in June 2014, 10 days before First Response, with McKay listed as the only director and his assistant listed as the company's contact person. Walsh and Christie signed a three-year contract with PIN on behalf of the union to provide consulting work on real estate and commercial investments and "vacation property opportunities." Under the contract, the union would be billed $5,000 a month for this work plus expenses over a period of three years.

Other allegations

Witnesses who spoke to police allege the union managers named in the documents made fraudulent claims for vacation leave payouts and personal expenses. In the search warrant documents, the RCMP say witnesses alleged Walsh, Bain and Christie claimed an aggregate amount of $144,000 in excess of their salaries for the fiscal year ending in 2014 and were paid out $100,000 in excess of their salaries for the fiscal year ending September 2013.

A summation of the RCMP probe alleges investigators uncovered complicated dealings by Walsh, Bain and Christie intended to skim union funds for their own profit:

"The totality of the alleged behaviour demonstrates an ongoing breach of trust... that has escalated in sophistication and significance to the point where they are now believed to be using a lawyer, a nominee, a consulting firm, a travel company, an offshore company and offshore investments to profit and deceive the OPP membership."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/o ... -1.2994229
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OPP union brass investigated over fraud allegations

Postby Thomas » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:42 am

Association tells its members that the RCMP is alleging Criminal Code violations, including theft, fraud, breach of trust and laundering the proceeds of crime.

The RCMP is alleging top brass of the Ontario Provincial Police union participated in a sophisticated financial scheme involving a travel company, a consulting firm and high-risk offshore investments, “to profit and deceive” their members, putting their union in peril.

Among the alleged investments: two beachside condos in the Bahamas, one valued at $1.5 million, and $100,000 in union money wired to an income fund in the Cayman Islands.

According to unproven allegations in an affidavit the RCMP used to obtain a series of search warrants executed late last week, Ontario Provincial Police Association president Jim Christie, vice-president Martin Bain and chief administrative officer Karl Walsh are alleged to have committed theft, breach of trust, fraud and laundering the proceeds of crime.

“(Christie, Bain and Walsh) have made numerous decisions that demonstrate an intentional lack of stewardship and accountability,” wrote RCMP Sgt. Gordon Aristotle, who petitioned the court for permission for the Mountie raids on the OPPA office, union vehicles and residences of Christie, Bain and Walsh, and more.

“I believe they have financially benefited from their actions, breached the trust of the OPPA membership and placed the OPPA and its membership at a significant financial risk,” Aristotle concluded.

The trio stepped aside on Monday in the wake of the RCMP raids. No charges have been laid.

Their alleged accomplices include Toronto criminal lawyer Andrew McKay, a former police officer, as well as Noel Francis Chantiam and Klara Kozak, who are partners in First Response, the travel company believed to be involved in the scheme, the affidavit states.

McKay, Kozak and Chantiam are alleged to have committed fraudulent concealment, laundering proceeds of crime and fraud, according to the affidavit.

The following report is based entirely on allegations in the affidavit, none of which has been tested in court. None of those named in the document could be reached for comment Friday.

Acting OPPA president Doug Lewis said in a statement that he was “saddened and shocked to learn of the allegations contained in the document.”

The union is currently conducting its own independent internal investigation by the legal firm of Stikeman Elliott, Lewis said.

In a message to the union’s more than 6,000 members on Thursday, the OPPA said, “the RCMP investigation is in early stages, and ... no charges have been laid.”
RCMP Const. Jean Juneau declined to comment on the investigation, which he described as “complex.”

“Those warrants were obtained because we had suspicions of activities that we needed to confirm,” Juneau said. “It’s going to take quite a while before we’re able to establish if there’s a crime or not.”

The RCMP document, unsealed Friday, suggests a complex web of suspected criminal activity within the top echelon of the union. The allegations range from risky offshore investments, to thousands in unearned pay, to a sudden, unexplained switch to a new travel agency the Mounties allege is partly owned, in secret, by Christie, Bain and Walsh.

The probe of the OPPA was triggered from within by four union whistleblowers who approached the OPP in October after growing increasingly concerned about possible fraudulent activity, the affidavit states.

Much of the alleged fraudulent activity centres around a mysterious company called PIN Consulting Group. According to the affidavit, it was registered last June and its sole director is McKay, the lawyer.

Shortly after PIN was registered, Walsh and Christie signed a three-year contract with the company on behalf of the OPPA, which began last July and was valued at $180,000, roughly $5,000 per month. The services to be provided by PIN, run out of the same Bloor St. address as McKay’s law office, included real estate and commercial investments, vacation property opportunities and travel benefits, according to the document.

PIN has no presence on the Internet and whistleblowers told the RCMP that they have no “knowledge or evidence” to show that McKay has skills or experience in the travel and investment industry “which would be of any value to the OPPA,” the document states.

“Walsh, Christie and Bain are allegedly benefitting financially from PIN’s business relationship with the OPPA, however, the extent of this benefit is not yet known,” Aristotle wrote.

According to the document, the consulting firm was allegedly responsible for introducing the union bosses to Kozak and the travel company First Response. The company was registered just 10 days after PIN, as a partnership between Kozak and Chantiam, who is described by a union whistleblower as McKay’s “rich friend” who hosted OPPA members in a Rogers Centre box.

“Without any cause or explanation,” Walsh abruptly dropped the OPPA’s former travel company, Flight Centre, and directed union members to use First Response exclusively for all their travel needs, the document states. The travel company is also allegedly being used to secure contracts for the OPPA’s golf tournament, the annual general meeting and the spring board meeting, which have an estimated value of $400,000.

First Response was listed as a division of Leximco, according to the document, whose directors are shown as Kozak and McKay. One of the whistleblowers told RCMP that emails on Walsh’s computer showed the six players owned all the shares in the travel company, the affidavit states.

The document alleges that the monthly consulting fees paid by the OPPA to PIN were being used “for the benefit” of the union bosses, to pay $30,000 for 30 First Response shares. To hide their ownership in First Response, the shares belonging to the union bosses — none of whom disclosed their stake in the company to their board of directors or membership — were held in trust by Kozak “through an offshore investment scheme,” the document alleges.

In early 2014, the RCMP says Walsh, Christie and McKay took two trips to the Bahamas. After these trips, they started making “higher risk investment decisions” on behalf of the OPPA, two of which were based in offshore jurisdictions and allegedly not pre-approved by the board of directors, the affidavit states.

The first was a $20,000 deposit on two condos in Nassau, Bahamas, which were valued at $1.5 million and $625,000; it was only discovered when union staff requested backup paperwork for the charge on Walsh’s OPPA-issued credit card, the affidavit alleges.

According to the document, Walsh claimed he was buying the condos as high-end vacation rental property investments for the OPPA. But the employees who reported their concerns to police did not understand the purchase, which was a departure for the union’s historically conservative investment strategy and not-for-profit status.

One of the whistleblowers told the RCMP that the OPPA can’t make profits or the union will risk losing its not-for-profit status with the Canada Revenue Agency.

The backup paperwork showed the deposit for the condo investments was made in Walsh’s name, and listed McKay’s office as the mailing address, but had later been changed to the OPPA and its address, the document states. Walsh later advised that he was cancelling the condo investments; however, more than $13,000 had yet to be refunded.

Last August, Walsh allegedly made another “high-risk” offshore investment, wiring $100,015 of OPPA funds to the Cayman Islands to pay for shares in the Cayman-based New Providence Income Fund. Walsh told his employees that he intended to endorse New Providence and encouraged the membership to invest in the income fund, according to the document.

One of the whistleblowers told police they had been upset that nothing was said about the condo purchase or the Cayman investment at the union’s annual general meeting. The whistleblower told the RCMP that they ran into Walsh, who said, “We could have spent a million dollars and these idiots wouldn’t have said a thing.”

The affidavit alleges that PIN was responsible for the OPPA investing in New Providence. Some of the OPPA employees believed that PIN is also involved in the “evaluation, procurement and development” of the proposed site for the new OPPA office in Oro, Ont., and that McKay’s brother, Barry McKay, has a hand in the project.

The RCMP is also looking into allegations that the union bosses further profited with fake claims for vacation leave payouts and personal expenses.

Aristotle wrote in the affidavit, “The totality of the alleged behaviour demonstrates an ongoing breach of trust . . . by Walsh, Bain and Christie that has escalated in sophistication and significance.”

The search warrants were executed last Friday.

http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2015/ ... tions.html

http://www.insidehalton.com/news-story/ ... legations/
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Court documents show fraud, theft investigation led to raid

Postby Thomas » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:46 am

Court documents show fraud, theft investigation led to raid of OPP union offices

TORONTO -- The RCMP says it has grounds to believe top leaders of Ontario's provincial police union set up a sophisticated network of schemes involving secretly owned companies and offshore investments to defraud union members.

The allegations against senior officials of the Ontario Provincial Police Association and others are laid out in documents filed with the Ontario Superior Court to obtain search warrants and production orders for a March 6 raid on union offices and other locations.

Among the warrants' targets were the union's offices in Barrie, Ont., three vehicles registered in its name and a Toronto travel company, documents released Friday show.

The production orders sought copies and backups of union email accounts belonging to its president Jim Christie, vice-president Martin Bain and chief administrative officer Karl Walsh.

"The totality of the alleged behaviour demonstrates an ongoing breach of trust which is being committed by Walsh, Bain and Christie that has escalated in sophistication and significance to the point where they are now believed to be using a lawyer, a nominee, a consulting firm, a travel company, an offshore company and offshore investments to profit and deceive the OPPA membership," RCMP Sgt. Gordon Aristotle alleges in the documents.

None of the allegations have been proven and no charges have been laid. An RCMP spokesman said Friday the investigation is ongoing and declined to comment further.

The Ontario Provincial Police Association issued a statement Friday evening saying it was "shocked and saddened to learn of the allegations contained in the document."

The association said earlier this week that Christie and Bain, whose offices were searched, have taken voluntary leaves of absence. Walsh, whose office was also searched by the RCMP, has been placed on administrative leave, it said.

The union said in a statement that "these actions should not be considered admissions or implications of wrongdoing or liability by anyone or by the association."

It also said it had fully co-operated with the criminal investigation by handing over items identified in the search warrant and would not comment further.

The warrants, orders and other related documents were initially sealed by the court but released by a judge Friday.

In the documents, Aristotle said there are "reasonable grounds" to believe Christie, Bain and Walsh -- who are all police officers -- committed theft, fraud, criminal breach of trust and laundering the proceeds of crime.

Another three people, including a former Toronto police officer turned defence lawyer, are suspected of fraud, fraudulent concealment and laundering the proceeds of crime, the RCMP investigator said.

RCMP allege in the documents that the three union officials hold half the shares of First Response Travel Group, a company formed in June of last year, and that union employees were being encouraged to use for all their travel needs. Christie, Bain and Walsh "have not disclosed their beneficial ownership" of the company to union board members, the documents said.

It's alleged the other half of First Response shares belong to Andrew McKay, a former police officer now working as a lawyer, and two others. McKay was not immediately available for comment.

The RCMP also allege the union was being charged monthly consulting fees by another company, PIN Consulting Group Inc., and that the funds paid were being used by the Christie, Bain and Walsh to buy $30,000 in First Response shares.

In order to hide their ownership in First Response, the shares belonging to Bain, Walsh and Christie were being held in trust by another individual through an offshore investment scheme, the documents allege.

"Walsh, Christie and Bain are allegedly benefiting financially from PIN's business relationship with the OPPA, however, the extent of this benefit is not yet known."

The documents allege the three union officials also made fraudulent claims for vacation leave payouts and expenses but say these allegations "are not the primary focus of this investigation."

The RCMP say the investigation was prompted by complaints by four union employees.

The email data collected in the raid were to be immediately sealed and sent to an independent forensic examiner to be analyzed without being seen by police, according to the production order.

The data would then go to an independent lawyer, who would determine whether to invoke solicitor-client privilege and notify affected clients if applicable.


http://www.cp24.com/news/court-document ... -1.2278694

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nat ... e23449482/

http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/news ... -1.1791877

http://www.northbaynipissing.com/news-s ... documents/
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Statement from OPP Association

Postby Thomas » Sat Mar 14, 2015 4:53 am

BARRIE, ON, March 13, 2015 /CNW/ - The Board of Directors of the Ontario Provincial Police Association (OPPA) has reviewed the documentation contained in the Information to Obtain, which is the supporting documentation that lead the Superior Court to issue a Search Warrant on March 5, 2015. Acting President Doug Lewis stated that he was, "saddened and shocked to learn of the allegations contained in the document."

The RCMP investigation is ongoing and the OPPA is fully cooperating. In addition, an independent internal investigation of the OPPA is currently being conducted by the legal firm of Stikeman Elliott.

President Lewis reiterated that, "member services and day to day operations remain a key priority." He expressed his thanks, on behalf of the Board of Directors, to the OPPA staff for their professionalism and commitment during what has been a very difficult week.

The OPP Association has no further comments on the contents of the Information to Obtain or the ongoing investigation at this time.

SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police Association

http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1501807 ... ssociation
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RCMP probe into alleged ‘fraud and theft’ by OPP union leade

Postby Thomas » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:04 am

Insiders triggered RCMP probe into alleged ‘fraud and theft’ by OPP union leaders

In the summer of 2014, a stretch limousine arrived at the Ontario Provincial Police Association’s headquarters in Barrie, Ont., carrying two entrepreneurs: Noel Francis Chantiam, known to have a box at the Rogers Centre in Toronto where he hosted officials, and Klara Kozak, a budding travel marketer.

Andrew McKay, a prominent Toronto lawyer who specializes in representing police unions, introduced the pair to a triumvirate of officers who ran the provincial police union: Jim Christie, Karl Walsh and Martin Bain.

Who's who in the RCMP investigation?

Jim Christie - OPPA President who voluntarily stepped aside following the RCMP raid on union offices in Barrie. He is also a sworn officer, holding the rank of Detective Sergeant with the provincial police.

Martin Bain - OPPA vice-president, who has also stepped aside as the investigation continues. He is a Constable with the OPP.

Karl Walsh - Chief administrative officer placed on administrative leave following the RCMP raid. Mr. Walsh was also a failed Liberal candidate in the 2011 Ontario provincial election in Barrie, and on his LinkedIn profile, he identifies himself as a director of the Ontario Pension Board. He, too, is a sworn police officer working as a Constable with the OPP.


Andrew McKay - Prominent Toronto lawyer who often represents police associations and officers accused of wrongdoing. The First Response travel agency is listed as a division of Leximco Ltd., of which he is a director.

Klara Kozak - One of two partners in First Response Travel Group, an agency formed in 2014 through which OPPA members were instructed to book all travel. Christie, Bain and Walsh also own shares in the company, documents show. Kozak is also a director at Leximco Ltd., the apparent parent company of the travel agency.

Mr. Chantiam pitched an idea, court documents allege. The union bosses listened.

“Francis talks fast and assumes we are as smart as he is,” Mr. Walsh later allegedly wrote in an email about the meeting.

It is then that a deal was forged to provide travel services for the association and its members, according to allegations made by the RCMP in documents filed in court.

But any alleged deal — and who might be profiting from it — would not become publicly known until concerned employees secretly told their view of things to the RCMP, and an Ontario Court judge unsealed the suspicions of federal investigators on Friday.

There are “reasonable grounds to believe,” the RCMP allege, that all of those involved at the meeting that day “acted together to commit criminal offences of fraud and theft against the OPPA.”

The travel deal, however, is only one startling allegation in the RCMP probe, with investigators saying it may have uncovered a pattern of both grand misappropriation — such as unusual condo purchases in the Bahamas and speculative investments in the Cayman Islands — as well as mundane office expenses and vacation time swindles.

Police have not made any arrests in the ongoing investigation or laid any charges and none of the allegations have been proven in court. None of those involved accepted the National Post’s request for comment on the allegations.

In a statement late Friday, the union’s acting president, Doug Lewis, said he was “saddened and shocked to learn of the allegations” and the association was fully co-operating with investigators. The law firm of Stikeman Elliott was hired to carry out an internal investigation.

While the public is only now learning of questions over the internal affairs of the union that represents about 6,200 uniformed officers and 3,600 civilian employees, things clearly didn’t look right to some police union insiders.

In fact, the RCMP’s interest was triggered by a handful of OPPA employees who grew suspicious of the overseas travel, investments and other expenses, and who took their concerns — and copies of internal emails they had preserved — to police.

That prompted a months-long investigation that included surveillance of key people and, last Friday, police searches at the OPPA headquarters, private homes and other offices.

At the heart of the investigation are Mr. Christie, the union president, Mr. Bain, vice-president, and Mr. Walsh, chief administrative officer. The three union officials are sworn officers with the OPP. Mr. Christie is a detective sergeant and the other two are constables. Mr. Walsh was a failed Liberal candidate in Barrie in the 2011 provincial election.

Also under scrutiny are Mr. McKay, who often represents police associations and officers accused of wrongdoing, and two business partners in the travel agency, Ms. Kozak and Mr. Chantiam.

“I believe that the subjects of investigation have organized various schemes, some which include companies for which they hold hidden beneficial ownership, that have been set up in order to obtain exclusive rights for services required by the OPPA,” Sgt. Gordon Aristotle, an RCMP officer with an investigative background in financial crimes, wrote in an affidavit filed in court.

Last year, all employees of the OPP Association were, without explanation, instructed to use a new travel service provider, First Response Travel Group, which was formed in June 2014. Some OPPA officials complained the prices were inflated and their service inferior, the affidavit says.

Mr. Walsh directed employees to use the company for all travel needs, including the association’s golf tournament, annual general meeting and spring board meeting. First Response was also marketed to the association’s general membership to use for personal travel.

Corporate documents list Ms. Koziak and Mr. Chantiam as the partners in First Response, which is listed as a division of Leximco Ltd., whose directors are Ms. Koziak and Mr. McKay.

However, internal emails uncovered by the union’s IT manager say Mr. Christie, Mr. Bain and Mr. Walsh also owned shares in First Response, the affidavit alleges.

It is alleged the trio paid for their shares through a $5,000-per-month “consulting fee” from the union to PIN Consulting, a firm set up by Mr. McKay. The $180,000 contract with PIN was for three years and was to help secure real estate and commercial investments, vacation property opportunities and travel benefits through various travel agencies.

“In order to hide their ownership in First Response, the shares belonging to Bain, Walsh and Christie were being held in trust by Kozak through an offshore investment scheme,” investigators allege.

It is alleged that Mr. McKay told Mr. Walsh by email that these shares would not be traceable because they were held offshore.

Concerns were also raised to police about the association’s investment portfolio. Near the start of 2014, Mssrs. Walsh, Christie and McKay took two trips to the Bahamas. Afterwards, they started to make “higher risk investment decisions” on behalf of the association, a stark deviation from its normally conservative investment strategy, the affidavit says.

One of the offshore investments was not discovered by the rest of the association’s board until office staff requested paperwork for a $20,000 charge to Mr. Walsh’s OPPA-issued credit card when it was time for the annual report to be prepared, the affidavit says.

Mr. Walsh explained it was a down payment on two condos in Nassau, Bahamas. One was valued at $1,563,000 and the other at $625,000. He said they were being bought as high-end vacation rental property investments for the OPPA, the document claims.

The paperwork showed the condos had been bought in Mr. Walsh’s name with an address corresponding to Mr. McKay’s office, the affidavit says.

The purchases had not been discussed by the board, the affidavit says, and some complained it did not make sense since the association is not-for-profit. (The purchases were later nixed but only about $7,000 was refunded, the affidavit says.)

In August 2014, Mr. Walsh allegedly wired $100,015 of OPPA funds to the Cayman Islands to buy shares in New Providence Income Fund Inc. The investment was described as a “high-risk, high-yielding offshore investment that is not regulated in Canada and there is no guarantee that the principal invested will be returned.”

Concerns grew when an audit in the fall of 2014 raised concerns about “unsupported expenses” and “vagueness” in the union’s investment policy.

When confronted about these transactions by the union’s executive officer, Mr. Walsh explained that the association was no longer buying the condos in the Bahamas but the $100,000 was an opening investment in New Providence to allow other members to invest. Mr. Walsh advised that the investment provided a 12% return.

It is alleged that when the auditor presented his findings to the association’s audit committee, Mr. Christie and Mr. Bain “fluffed … off” the concerns.

RCMP investigators say they were unable to find any information about New Providence since January 2013, and it did not appear the company had filed any materials with securities regulators in Canada.

The RCMP are also looking into other allegations of enrichment by the three OPPA executives, relating to allegedly fraudulent claims for vacation leave payouts and personal expenses, the affidavit says.

“The totality of the alleged behaviour demonstrates an ongoing breach of trust which is being committed by Walsh, Bain and Christie that has escalated in sophistication and significance to the point where they are now believed to be using a lawyer, a nominee, a consulting firm, a travel company, an offshore company and offshore investments to profit and deceive the OPPA membership,” says the affidavit.

This week, it was announced that Mr. Christie and Mr. Bain had voluntarily stepped aside and that Mr. Walsh had been placed on administrative leave.

Mr. McKay, Ms. Kozak and Mr. Chantiam have previously declined to comment. Requests for comment from the accused union officials went unanswered.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/03/13 ... n-leaders/

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'Unusual transactions' in OPP union funds among allegations

Postby Thomas » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:16 am

'Unusual transactions' in OPP union funds among allegations against top execs

CTV News has obtained details of allegations of theft, fraud, criminal breach of trust and laundering the proceeds of crime leveled against three top executives of the Ontario Provincial Police Association. The allegations are outlined in more than 200 pages of court documents obtained Friday.

The RCMP is investigating what’s described as “significant and unusual transactions” using OPPA funds. They include an alleged $13,000 deposit on a condominium in the Bahamas which is worth an estimated $1.5 million; and an alleged $30,000 payout to two OPPA executive members for unused vacation. There are also separate allegations of untraceable shares being held in offshore companies.

The unsealed RCMP documents allege that OPPA president and CEO Jim Christie, vice-president Martin Bain and chief administrative officer Karl Walsh, used companies they either set up or partly owned, to obtain exclusive rights to services used by the association, including travel and investment services.

In the statement used to obtain the search warrant, the investigating officer, RCMP Sgt. Gordon Aristotle, said: “I believe that the subjects of the investigation have organized various schemes.” According to Aristotle, the schemes included “companies for which they hold hidden beneficial ownership” that offer travel and investment services that are being promoted to the OPPA membership.

Financial documents reveal that one of those companies was First Response Travel Group. The RCMP allege the travel service provider made $400,000 from the OPPA because its employees “were being forced to use First Response for their travel needs.”

Another company, PIN Consulting Group, was charging the OPPA $180,000 in consulting fees, the documents allege. Investigators allege the money paid to PIN Consulting was then being used to pay for shares in First Response.

There are also allegations from one witness of “a sense of entitlement and arrogance” among the executive leadership of the police union.

Separate allegations involve work schedules. One witness has told investigators that the schedules for vacation or days off were manipulated to indicate that work was done when executives were away.

The RCMP executed the 11 search warrants and two production orders on March 6 seeking email back-ups and other electronic records from the OPPA headquarters in Barrie and other businesses and homes in the Barrie area, Midland, Blue Mountain and Toronto.

Three other people are named in the documents, including a lawyer, Andrew McKay. McKay is identified as an owner of one company, and a director of two other companies that are part of the investigation.

None of the allegations against any of the individuals named have been proven in court and no charges have been laid.

On Monday, the OPPA said in a statement it has fully co-operated with the investigation and turned over items identified in the search warrant.

"The RCMP is conducting a criminal investigation and believed that evidence to support its investigation could be found in the OPP Association head office as well as the offices of president Christie, vice-president Bain and CAO (Karl) Walsh," the statement said.

The RCMP launched an investigation last October, after the OPP received complaints of alleged fraudulent activity by the association’s senior members. The Mounties conducted physical surveillance of the three OPPA officials and the companies in question between Nov. 20, 2014, and Feb. 19, 2015.

RCMP have indicated in the documents that four OPPA employees have provided sworn statements to investigators.

Christie and Bain took voluntary leaves of absences after last week’s raids, while Walsh was placed on administrative leave.

An internal investigation has also been launched by an independent legal firm.

A newsletter sent out to the association’s members says that day-to-day operations will continue.

With a report from CTV Toronto’s Zuraidah Alman

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OPP union investigated for fraud, theft

Postby Thomas » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:25 pm

Senior executives with the Ontario Provincial Police Association (OPPA) were involved in fraudulent schemes to enrich themselves at the expense of the organization, a RCMP search warrant alleges.

RCMP Sgt. Gordon Aristotle, in an Information to Obtain (ITO) released Friday, sought the records of OPPA president Jim Christie, vice-president Martin Bain and chief administration officer Karl Walsh, as well as those of lawyer Andrew MacKay, Klara Kozak and Noel Francis Chantiam.

The investigators were also after paper and electronic records related to PIN Consulting Group, Leximco Travel, First Response Travel Group and an “unknown offshore company.”

The ITO says there are reasonable grounds to believe that Bain, Christie and Walsh committed the offence of theft, criminal breach of trust, fraud and laundering the proceeds of crime, and that McKay, Kozak and Chantiam committed the offences of fraudulent concealment, laundering the proceeds of crime and fraud.

No charges have been laid and none of the allegations have been proven in court.

Acting OPPA president Doug Lewis said in a statement that he was, “saddened and shocked to learn of the allegations contained in the document.”

Lewis thanked the OPPA staff for their professionalism and commitment during what he described as a very difficult week.

The OPPA is co-operating fully with the RCMP investigation and would not be commenting further, he said.

Aristotle’s ITO says employees of the OPPA — the organization representing over 6,200 uniformed members 3,600 civilian members — complained to police in October regarding suspected fraudulent activity.

“I believe that the subjects of investigation have organized various schemes, some which include companies for which they hold hidden beneficial ownership, that have been set up in order to obtain exclusive rights for services required by the OPPA,” Aristotle says. “These services pertain to but are not limited to the travel and investment needs of the OPPA. In addition, some of the services offered by these companies are being promoted to the OPP membership throughout the province.”

For example, OPPA employees were told to use exclusively a company called First Response Travel Group for all the organization’s travel needs.

The OPPA employees told investigators that First Response provides inferior service at inflated prices, Aristotle’s ITO says.

The ITO says that the company is owned by Walsh, Christie, Bain, McKay, Chantiam and Kozak but the OPPA board of directors were not made aware of the potential conflict of interest.

Two condos in Nassau, Bahamas — valued at $1.6 million and $625,000 — were purchased as an “investment” for OPPA, a non-profit agency.

Another “high risk” investment in the Cayman Islands was made.

“Walsh wired $100,015 of OPPA funds to the Cayman Islands to pay for shares in New Providence,” the ITO says. “Despite the potential for high yield return, this high-risk investment was counter to the historically conservative investment strategy of the OPPA.”

The alleged breach of trust had become so sophisticated that there was a lawyer, a man referred to as a nominee, consulting firm, travel company, offshore company and offshore investments involved “to profit and deceive the OPPA membership,” the ITO states.

In addition, allegations have surfaced that OPPA credit cards were used for personal purchases, and that OPPA members including Walsh, Bain and Christie claimed $144,000 beyond their salaries in the fiscal year 2014.

The March 6 RCMP raid has rocked the police union, leading to leaves of absence for Christie and Bain.

Walsh, a 2011 Ontario Liberal candidate in Barrie, was placed on administrative leave, and he declined an opportunity earlier this week to speak to a Sun Media reporter.


The OPPA, which has put new executives in place, notified OPP officers through a “blastout” news letter Thursday of the criminal offences being alleged in the Aristotle ITO filed in court.”

An OPPA spokesman said the information was provided to its members in the interest of transparency.

The newsletter states that an internal investigation is also underway by the independent legal firm of Stikeman Elliot under the oversight of acting CAO Michael Briscoe.
“The day-to-day operations of the Association continues with members services being out top priority,” the blastout says.

RCMP Const. Jean Juneau said Friday that the investigation is very much in its preliminary stages.

The ITO says that Martin McNamara, a police officer and OPPA executive, made the initial complaint to the OPP after becoming concerned about some activities at the union.

McNamara told investigators that he had become a sounding board for some OPPA employees who were ringing alarm bells and then later tried to find out why $5,000 was supposed to be paid to PIN Consulting of which he had no previous knowledge.

“A few days later, McNamara learned of two other transactions that did not make any sense to him; that the OPA had purchased a condo in the Bahamas and that the OPPA had wired funds from their bank account to the Cayman Islands for an Investment,” the ITO says. “McNamara was extremely upset by these transactions and the perception of money laundering.”

McNamara then learned that executives took a trip to the Bahamas as a “personal vacation” only to later claim they were working.

The situation became more uncomfortable for McNamara when he learned of links between First Response and an OPPA golf tournament, the ITO says.

At least two other employees, in accounting and IT at the OPPA, provided sworn testimony that they too had strong concerns about potential fraud.

Bain, Christie, Walsh, McKay, Kozak and Chantiam could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.

The OPPA is currently in negotiations with the Ontario government for a new collective agreement for OPP officers.

Community Safety Minister Yasir Naqvi said this week that bargaining was continuing under the OPPA’s new leadership.

http://www.bwglive.ca/news/399556/opp-u ... -for-fraud
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OPP union's CAO fired amid fraud allegations

Postby Thomas » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:07 am

Karl Walsh has been sacked as the RCMP investigates financial activities by him and two other top OPP Association officials

A senior executive of the Ontario Provincial Police Association has been fired in the wake of RCMP allegations that he participated in a scheme to defraud the union’s membership using a travel company, a consulting firm and risky offshore investments.

In an email to staff, Doug Lewis, acting president of the OPPA announced that Chief Administrative Officer Karl Walsh had been fired.

“The Board of Directors met on Friday, March 13th, 2015, in Barrie and unanimously approved a motion to terminate the employment contract of former CAO Karl Walsh,” the email read. “Notice of termination has been delivered.”

Walsh, who ran unsuccessfully for the provincial Liberals in Barrie in the 2011 election, was previously placed on administrative leave by the OPPA board of directors because of the RCMP investigation.

The unproven allegations against Walsh and two other top OPPA officials are contained in an affidavit used to obtain search warrants executed by the RCMP late last week. They claim that Walsh, union president Jim Christie and vice-president Martin Bain committed theft, breach of trust, fraud, and laundering the proceeds of crime.

Bain and Christie have since taken leaves of absence. No charges have been laid.

Among the investments the trio allegedly used to profit from and “deceive” union members are two beachside condos in the Bahamas and $100,000 of OPPA money that was wired to a fund in the Cayman Islands.

Their alleged accomplices include Toronto criminal lawyer Andrew McKay, a former cop who often represents police officers. None of the people named in the RCMP affidavit could be reached for comment.

McKay is the sole director of PIN Consulting Group, a mysterious company with which Walsh and Christie signed a three-year, $180,000 contract on behalf of the OPPA last year.

Whistleblowers warned the RCMP that McKay did not have the relevant skills to run a company offering PIN’s array of services, including real estate investments and vacation property opportunities. The firm was run out of the same Bloor St. address as McKay’s law practice.

Also last year, without explanation, Walsh abruptly dropped the OPPA’s travel provider and instructed union members to only use a company called First Response for all their travel needs, the court document states.

First Response was registered just 10 days after PIN. The travel firm is listed as a division of Leximco Ltd., whose only directors are McKay and Klara Kozack, also listed as a conspirator in the affidavit.

As chief administrative officer, Walsh was responsible for the association’s $70-million budget.

He previously served as OPPA president from October 2005 to March 2011.


On his LinkedIn profile, Walsh identifies himself as a director of the Ontario Pension Board, which administers the $18-billion Public Service Pension Plan sponsored by the Ontario government.

The OPPA has hired the law firm Stikeman, Elliott, Lewis to conduct an internal investigation into the alleged criminal ring within the union’s top brass.

Lewis, the acting president, added in his email that Walsh had been required to hand in his union-owned vehicle and OPPA electronic equipment.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/03 ... tions.html
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OPPA official fired amid RCMP investigation

Postby Thomas » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:22 am

The Ontario Provincial Police Association board has fired its chief administrative officer amid an RCMP investigation into the organization.

According to an internal memo obtained by CP24, the OPPA board met Friday and voted unanimously to terminate the contract of former CAO Karl Walsh.

No charges have been laid in the investigation and none of the allegations have been proven in court.

In court documents released Friday, the RCMP claim Walsh and the two other senior executives of the association acted together to commit fraud and theft against the OPPA.

Among the allegations is an alleged $20,000 dollar deposit on two condos in the Bahamas, worth 2 million dollars, using an OPPA-issued credit card.

The RCMP raided several locations including the OPPA office in Barrie. Walsh had been placed on administrative leave before his contract was terminated.

http://www.cp24.com/news/oppa-official- ... -1.2280449
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Union whistleblowers spark OPPA fraud investigation in Barri

Postby Thomas » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:26 am

Martin McNamara had his suspicions.

An OPP officer and executive officer of the provincial force’s union, McNamara was the first to complain to authorities about unusual financial transactions involving the union’s top brass.

When McNamara, who had signing authority for the 6,000-member union, was asked to authorize a $5,000 cheque last August, payable to a consulting company he had never heard of, he wondered what services the mystery firm provided.

A few days later, McNamara learned of two other transactions that didn’t make sense to him — the union had purchased a condo in the Bahamas and had wired $100,000 to the Cayman Islands for a “high-risk” investment.

McNamara’s statement and those of three other union whistleblowers are contained in an affidavit the RCMP used to obtain a warrant to search the union’s Barrie offices March 6.

The affidavit alleges Ontario Provincial Police Association president Jim Christie, vice-president Martin Bain and chief administrative officer Karl Walsh committed theft, breach of trust, fraud and laundering the proceeds of crime.

Walsh ran unsuccessfully as Liberal candidate in the last provincial election.

No charges have been laid and none of the allegations have been proven in court. The three men have stepped away from their duties as the investigation continues.

McNamara’s initial concerns have led to an RCMP investigation that will attempt to prove that Christie, of Midland, Walsh of Bradford West Gwillimbury and Bain of Oro-Medonte were involved in elaborate schemes that were detrimental to the union’s membership.

“I believe they have financially benefited from their actions, breached the trust of the OPPA membership and placed the OPPA and its membership at a significant financial risk,” the affidavit’s author RCMP Sgt. Gordon Aristotle concluded.

Using statements provided by McNamara, an IT manager, a union accountant and a human resources officer, the RCMP investigation alleges the union executives conspired with Toronto lawyer Andrew McKay, a former police officer, and two other Toronto accomplices.

The 88-page information to obtain a search warrant alleges PIN, which lists McKay as its only director, received an $180,000 contract with the union after Walsh and Christie signed the three-year deal. McKay defends police officers accused of wrongdoing.

“PIN is closely associated with much of the alleged fraudulent activity under investigation,” the affidavit states.

Funds being paid to PIN by the union were allegedly used to buy shares in a company called First Response Travel, which is owned by Walsh, Bain and Christie.

To hide their ownership in First Response, the shares belonging to the union bosses — none of whom disclosed their stake in the company to their board of directors or membership — were held in trust by Kozak “through an offshore investment scheme,” the document alleges.

OPP union members were told to use First Response exclusively to receive travel discounts.

The union whistleblowers also believe PIN is involved in the evaluation of land in Oro for a new union headquarters. The board of director’s approved $100,000 Feb. 19 to evaluate property on the 7th Line in Oro.

“Walsh was fixated on acquiring this property,” one of the whistleblowers told the RCMP.

The longtime employee said there is no need to relocate, but “Walsh says he wanted to move the OPPA out of Barrie because the OPP does not police the City of Barrie.”

The affidavit also alleges that Walsh wired $100,000 to the Cayman’s to invest in the New Providence Income Fund Inc., which is not regulated in Canada.

“Despite the potential for high yield return, this high risk investment was counter to the historically conservative investment strategy of the OPPA,” Sgt. Aristotle wrote warrant application.

In his bid to gain search warrants, Aristotle concludes: “The totality of the alleged behavior demonstrates and ongoing breach of trust … that has escalated in sophistication and significance to the point where they are now believed to be using a lawyer, a nominee, a consulting firm, a travel company, an offshore company and offshore investments to profit and deceive the OPPA membership.”

http://www.ourwindsor.ca/news-story/547 ... in-barrie/
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OPP union official fired following RCMP investigation

Postby Thomas » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:32 am

OPP union official fired following RCMP investigation into allegations of fraud, theft and money laundering

One of three Ontario Provincial Police union officials under suspicion in a fraud, theft and money laundering investigation has been fired from his union position, members were told in an internal memorandum.

Karl Walsh, who was the chief administrative officer of the Ontario Provincial Police Association, was earlier placed on administrative leave following RCMP searches on the OPPA’s headquarters, private homes and offices on March 6.

The information the RCMP used to obtain those search warrants became public on Friday and the union’s board of directors read the detailed allegations that day.

Afterwards, the board issued a public statement saying the newly installed acting president, Doug Lewis, was “saddened and shocked to learn of the allegations.”

Not revealed publicly is that also on that day the association’s board of directors unanimously approved a motion to terminate Mr. Walsh’s employment contract, according to a memo sent to OPPA members and obtained by the National Post.

“Notice of termination has been delivered. Part of that notice requires the return of all OPPA-owned equipment, including vehicle and any electronic equipment,” the short memo says.

The memo did not address any action regarding the remaining two officers who are under the cloud of a large RCMP probe after whistleblowers within the organization complained of financial irregularities.

An RCMP investigator’s affidavit, filed in court to obtain a search warrant, also names Jim Christie, the union’s president, and Martin Bain, vice-president, as suspected of being involved together with others.

All three are also sworn police officers with the OPP, with Mr. Christie having the rank of Detective-Sergeant and the others Constable.

Mr. Walsh was also a failed Liberal candidate in Barrie during the 2011 provincial election and his LinkedIn profile identifies him as a director of the Ontario Pension Board.

When he ran for public office in 2011, his campaign said he spent 14 years in the military, including a volunteer assignment as a United Nations peacekeeper in Kosovo, before joining the OPP.

The RCMP’s affidavit also names Andrew McKay, a Toronto lawyer who often represents police associations and officers accused of wrongdoing, and two business partners: Klara Kozak and Noel Francis Chantiam.

The unproven allegations include unusual condo purchases in the Caribbean, secret ownership in a travel company that the OPPA was instructed to use for all of its travel arrangements and other suspicious acts, including questionable expenses and vacation time claims.

“The totality of the alleged behaviour demonstrates an ongoing breach of trust which is being committed by Walsh, Bain and Christie that has escalated in sophistication and significance to the point where they are now believed to be using a lawyer, a nominee, a consulting firm, a travel company, an offshore company and offshore investments to profit and deceive the OPPA membership,” Sgt. Gordon Aristotle, an RCMP officer with an investigative background in financial crimes, wrote in an affidavit filed in court.

Repeated requests for comment from the three union officials under investigation went unanswered. Mr. McKay, Ms. Kozak and Mr. Chantiam have all previously declined to discuss the allegations with the Post.

Michael Briscoe will continue to serve as Acting Chief Administrative Officer, members were told in the memo.

The OPPA represents about 6,200 uniformed officers and 3,600 civilian employees, making it one of the largest police unions in North America.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/03/14 ... aundering/
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