|Posted by George Freund on January 2, 2015 at 9:25 AM|
A very prominent politician passed away in his sleep New Years Day. He was not a household name, but he was implicated in a massive money laundering scandal involving the Hoi polloi of Canadian politics, business and finance. That's quite a cudo for former Liberal MPP Eric Cunningham of Hamilton.
Graft and corruption are like a venereal disease. It commonly arises from something illicit and is not spoken about in polite company even though all of us are the victims of the crime. Back in 2007 Eric was getting his comeuppance in the family law courts in the divorce game. His wife believed he had stashed $2.3 million in off shore accounts. She hired a private detective and his wife to search for the money. They did. They claimed they found it, and all the records disappeared.
Cullen Johnson was not just a private detective. He was not just a detective with the Toronto Police. He was the head of its Intelligence Unit. He attended Police Commission meetings for the Chief. He was a top notch investigator. The Ontario government implied he wasn't properly qualified to be a private investigator. That was one of the first flaws with the soon to be coming party line. I mean with his credentials he should be training private investigators or running the Ministry that licences them. His wife, Elaine White, was a forensic accountant that worked in the law field. It would be difficult to find a pair more suited to chase down off shore accounts.
Cullen Johnson, Elaine White
The allegations they presented should have shaken the foundations of the country from sea to shining sea. They did not. The spin machine focused on the messengers and then started to squeeze. Since we are on the outside of the loop we have to use Columbo logic. Something bothers me about this case. Why would seasoned investigators prepare tainted documents for a court case that would put them under intense scrutiny? With a high profile insider it would reasonably be expected that top legal talent would be examining evidence to destroy its validity. You could swindle the unwary, but this is top dog territory. You could end up dead.
It was alleged that Mr. Cunningham was one of two primary directors of a venture called Superstar Ltd. The other was Charles S. Coffey former CEO of Royal Bank of Canada and Director of SDTC Sustainable Development Technology Canada. Superstar Ltd. is a Bahamian corporation. It was a subsidiary of Woodland Chemical Systems (Bahamas) Ltd. Other Directors included a Canadian who's who:
John Turner; (Liberal MP and l7th Prime Minister of Canada; Lawyer, Miller Thomson LLP)
Monte Kwinter; (Liberal M.P.P. and former Minister of Public Safety and Security, Government of Ontario)
David Peterson; (Former Liberal Premier of Ontario)
Greg Sorbara; (Former Liberal Minister of Finance, Government of Ontario)
Roy McMurtry; (Former Minister of the Attorney-General, Solicitor General and Chief Justice, Government of Ontario; Currently Chancellor, York University)
George Smitherman; (Liberal M.P.P., Deputy Premier, Government of Ontario; Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Government of Ontario)
Major-General Lewis MacKenzie; (Retired General, Canadian Armed Forces (1993), Author and Commentator)
Paul Martin; (Former Liberal MP and 21st Prime Minister of Canada)
Belinda Stronach; (Executive V.P., Magna International; Former Liberal Federal Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development)
Ken Dryden; (Former Federal Liberal M.P. and Cabinet Minister; NHL veteran)
Juliano Fantino; (Former Chief of Police, Toronto Police Service. Now Commissioner of the OPP)
Art Eggleton; (Former Mayor of Toronto, Liberal Federal M.P. and current Canadian Senator)
Frank Stronach; (Founder, Magna International and Magna Entertainment Corporation; Former Liberal Candidate)
Andrew Stonach; (Son of Frank Stronach; Involved in thoroughbred horseracing)
David McGuinty; (Federal Liberal MP and brother of Dalton McGuinty, current Premier of Ontario)
Brent Johnston; (Former Senior Investment Advisor, CIBC Wood Gundy)
Sheila Copps; (Former Federal Liberal MP for Hamilton East and Deputy Prime Minister, Canada)
Paul Martin III; (Son of Paul Martin. Executive, Canada Steamship Lines)
Gordon Feeney; (Retired Senior Executive, Royal Bank of Canada. Appointed Chairman, Canada Postal Corporation, 2004)
Ross MacDonald; (Head of Caribbean Banking Operations, Royal Bank of Canada)
Luc Bertrand; (Former President and CEO, Bourse De Montreal Inc.)
Gordon M. Nixon; (President and CEO, Royal Bank of Canada)
W. Geoffrey Beattie; (Director, Royal Bank of Canada and former VP, CIBC Wood Gundy)
Wayne C. Fox; (Director and Chair, Toronto Stock Exchange)
Andrew McCartney; (Managing Director, RBC Dominion Securities; Branch Manger, Grand Cayman and Nassau, Bahamas)
Cullen and Elaine are now both doing hard time in the United States. They fled Canada to the Bahamas where they are wanted on charges stemming from the divorce case documents. Mr. Cunningham was suing them. They alleged he took the name of another Eric Cunningham from the Bahamas who is deceased and opened bank accounts for illicit purposes. They left the Bahamas going to The Turks and Caicos Islands. That mistake landed them in U.S. custody over presenting fraudulent documents. They were convicted on the evidence of an informant, Juliet Bickford, a Virginia CBS television anchor who ran afoul of the IRS over a hot tub deduction. With her testimony, other sins are most likely forgiven. I am very dubious of the equivalent to a jail house informant. Her boyfriend is in hiding in Greece.
The Superstar's documents named names as above. Mr. Fantino was investigated by parliament and cleared. I hope not by a Director of another off shore venture we may never learn about. They said he socked away around $2.3 million while in policing. I am cynical to the point that there should be a Minister of Money Laundering in cabinet. Having read The Merger, I know how high end police investigations in Canada created 'banks.' Due to the fact they weren't chartered, there were no regulations or reporting requirements. The beauty of the technology in banking was that accounts could be set up on line and made to disappear as well. No one had to physically enter a bank and sign anything. Just as quickly they were deleted from the cyber record. Bank employees at ground level could truthfully say there is no customer or account. 21ST century record keeping is quite advantageous. Now you know why the previous Premier's office erased the hard drives of the computers. The proof was in the pudding, and it smelled like another SUPERSTAR!
The world moves at the speed of the predator not the prey. These ones are SUPERSTARS!