Of interest,,,

A snow storm is forecast.

Discussion: Snow associated with a major winter storm is expected to arrive this afternoon and continue into Wednesday morning. Snow will likely change to ice pellets or freezing rain tonight. Several hours of freezing rain are possible particularly in the Ottawa Valley. The amount of snow will depend on how quickly precipitation changes to ice pellets or freezing rain although some locations may receive 10 to 20 cm of snow.

Already the snow has begun to angle heavily in the sky. The sky has turned grey and tenebrous. Fortuitously I didn’t get out of bed until late this morning. I have since enjoyed a marvellous brunch of lox and eggs followed by a stimulating chilled espresso.

Earlier I received an email from an undergraduate colleague in Toronto, a retired Justice of the Superior Court of Ontario (and also a published jurisprude) who advised in answer to my prior unrelated email question “Any news?” the following:

None whatever save the I went to Kitchener today for lunch with Gary Hendin whom and whose fall from grace you may remember. He is irrepressible and always doing deals and establishing new businesses. Never met an optimist of his calibre.

A hurried recap from the internet:

The Citizen, Ottawa, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 1983

St. Catharines lawyer Gary Scott Hendin has been disbarred for professional misconduct by the Law Society of Upper Canada after it found “questionable practices” in a troubled company that he headed. Richard Tinsley, deputy secretary of the law society, said the disbarment followed findings that “Hendin was president of a corporation that was deeply indebted to a financial institution that suffered serious losses as a result of questionable practices.” Tinsley said Hendin “refused to account to the financial institution or to the Law Society for the corporation or for his own conduct”. The action against Hendin, 34, who has practised law for eight years, took effect Sept. 22. He was convicted earlier this year of 11 counts of refusing to give information to Revenue Canada on the deposit and transfer of more than $11 million between Canada and the U.S. in 1979-1980.

And further.

In May, 1985, as a result of an investigation conducted by the RCMP’s Niagara Falls Drug Section, Gary Hendin, a disbarred lawyer, pleaded guilty in a St. Catharines, Ontario court to charges involving the laundering of $12 million for organized criminals over a three year period. Hendin was convicted under Section 312 of the Criminal Code which makes it a crime to have possession of “any property or thing or the proceeds of any property or thing” knowing that it was obtained by crime recruited by organized criminals to launder drug money. Hendin, who was a lawyer at the time, incorporated a currency exchange firm. The criminals sent their money to his law office via couriers. The court heard that Hendin would lock himself in his law library and use a money counting machine to count the bundles of $10, $20 and $50 bills, before delivering them to the banks. He sometimes carried as much as $600,000 himself to the bank for deposit. On several occasions he used a 15 year old boy who rode his bicycle to the banks to deliver a total of$252,900. The Canadian funds were then converted into US currency which was sometimes delivered to Hendin’s law office in an armoured van. Couriers for the organization would then travel with the money to Florida where a portion was used to finance further drug supplies with the remainder being channelled into offshore banks or shell corporations in the Cayman Islands. In one transaction Hendin pretended to lend $324,802 for the purchase of a property to a company in which an organized crime figure was involved. The loan was recorded as a mortgage on the property and Hendin later gave the company a partial discharge despite the fact that no money changed hands. This technique was one of the methods employed to launder money for the company.

The irony of this mixed entertaining and remorseful account is that only seconds after having been reintroduced to this tale of intrigue by my Toronto friend and colleague, I received a telephone call from Aurora Cannabis punctuated moments afterwards by the following email:

Hello William,

As you know, your medical document will expire very soon and Aurora would like to offer you a 20% discount to place one last order prior to completing your renewal. To place an order, please login to your account online and enter the discount code below at the check out screen or, give us a call at 1-877-928-7672 and one of our Client Care representatives will gladly assist you, simply mention you have received this email.

If you are still seeking to obtain a medical document, you must have an assessment done by either your family doctor or a healthcare practitioner who is licensed to prescribe medical cannabis.  If you do not have a healthcare practitioner capable of completing this for you, we have listed 2 clinics below that you can book an appointment with by clicking the link provided. They offer free appointments nationwide with qualified healthcare practitioners. Appointments are conducted over a secure video call or over the phone.

One couldn’t be any more assured of the bona fides! Indeed so encouraged was I by the soul-destroying sound of the initial intelligence that I asked the operator, ‘Where are you?” The abrupt interruption of the retail message illicited – as these peremptory inquisitions so often do – an equally immediate and unqualified response (basically Toronto).  Turns out upon further friendly amplification she was “working from home” (reportedly a consequence of COVID-19). I informed her that paradoxically I was currently reviewing the criminal activity of an erstwhile undergraduate acquaintance related indirectly to the same product. Though she was not of an age (she informed me in response to my similarly frank investigation that she was 48 years old) she evidently appreciated the burlesque nature of the entirety.

I am pleased that in my prior communication with my legal friend I had had the wherewithal to acknowledge the depth of the conduct of the criminal mind. Not precisely, “There but for the grace of God…” but it was nonetheless passably humanitarian.

I do remember Gary Hendin. He was indeed irrepressible! Please give him my very best wishes. I am pleased to hear that he is treating life with the dignity it deserves.

And speaking of which, this was not exactly how I had anticipated spending my day today.  In fact our initial agenda had included a visit to the dentist’s office for teeth cleaning by the hygienist but that was rescheduled for a reason summarized as “staff shortage”. It turns out to have been propitious.  And a further reminder that life is full of unpredictabilities and possibilities. Amusingly today’s particular rendition has forcefully reminded me of my parallel affection for both the North Atlanic Ocean and our home territory. And of course my past and all that that entails. Nor can I deny by even further abstraction that Hendin’s continuance imparts to me a thoroughly favourable demonstration of the strength of human nature. Certainly it is a characterization coloured from a remote (and admittedly uneducated) perspective and by a ready imagination. But I confess never to have harboured a completely unqualified view of the world notwithstanding my general adherence to its current prejudices and hesitantly admonished privileges.

Stephen is a Professor in the Department of Criminology at St. Mary’s University. Stephen’s areas of expertise include crime prevention, organized crime, corporate crime and community development. His research projects have included studies into money laundering, contraband smuggling, fraud, marine port security and innovative approaches to combating organized crime.

Details a case study, that of Gary Hendin, an Ontario lawyer who laundered around CDN12 million in drug money during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Journal of Property Research
The Charlesworth Group, Wakefield (Jan 20 2003)

1. Introduction

Although rarely the subject of empirical research, for many years organized criminal entrepreneurs throughout the world have invested in real estate to further their illegal (and legal) activities. Real property is primarily used as a conveyance to further the profit-oriented goals of organized criminal conspiracies by providing land and buildings through which a wide range of illegal and legal activities can be pursued, such as drug production and trafficking, the manufacture and distribution of other contraband, as well as illegal gambling, prostitution, or counterfeiting. Beginning in the nineteenth century, Italian Mafiosis directly and indirectly controlled large swaths of land in Sicily that produced artichokes, olive oil, wine grapes, and other necessities of Italian life (Hess, 1973; Catanzaro, 1992). The introduction of laws prohibiting the consumption of liquor in the United States in the 1920s propelled organized crime into a new era of growth and prosperity in North America and laid the foundation for an unprecedented involvement of underworld figures in numerous legitimate industries – including those involved in the production of spirits, commercial transportation, entertainment, importing and exporting, hotels, restaurants, bars, etc. – which dramatically increased their investments in real estate. By the mid-1950s, as demand for illegal drugs began to skyrocket in North America, vast areas of land in developing countries throughout Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean were cleared or converted to grow such lucrative cash crops as opium, coca, and marijuana (although, with some exceptions, this land was owned and/or worked by peasant farmers who sold their crops directly or indirectly to criminal syndicates) (Wiant, 1985; Morales, 1986; United States House Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, 1990; Moran, 2002; United Nations, 2004). Starting in the 1970s, members of ‘mafia’ crime families in New York, Toronto, and Montreal, as well as other cities, became actively involved in real estate development and construction (Government of Ontario, 1974; Cliche et al., 1975; Thomas, 1977; Wismer, 1980; Jacobs, 1991).

By the early 1990s, police in British Columbia observed a marked rise in the use of homes and rural properties for marijuana cultivation which has now blossomed into a multi-billion dollar industry that has spread throughout Canada. In a nation-wide series of police raids targeting marijuana grow operations that took place in January and April of 2002, 417 people were arrested on 877 drug charges and police seized 116,329 marijuana plants, worth approximately (CDN) $116.2 million.

4.3.2. Real estate-related companies. Police cases also show that criminal entrepreneurs will incorporate companies to facilitate the laundering process. Criminal organizations laundering money through real estate can incorporate realty companies, mortgage- brokerage firms, and development or construction companies to facilitate access to real property. One vivid example involved Gary Hendin, a lawyer for an Ontario-based organized crime syndicate, who, the RCMP estimates, laundered (CDN) $12 million in drug money during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Police discovered that Hendin incorporated a number of shell companies and trust accounts, in Canada and abroad, through which he would funnel drug proceeds to purchase real estate in Canada. To further legitimize his real estate transactions, Hendin incorporated construction and development companies, which would then purchase properties, financed in part by mortgages provided by other shell companies he had established. In one such transaction, he used construction, development, and mortgage finance companies to purchase property already owned by another shell company he had established. One of the purposes of purchasing property that Hendin already de facto owned was to repatriate funds to Canada (in the form of a mortgage) that was in the account of an off- shore shell company Hendin also helped establish. As depicted in fig. 4, real estate in Canada was purchased by a shell company incorporated by Hendin, called Rosegarden Construction. The property was transferred from a credit corporation called Cencan Investments, also incorporated by Hendin. Payment of (CDN) $330,000 came in the form of a certified cheque issued through a bank account in the name of M&M Currency Exchange (also under Hendin’s control) and payable to Cencan Investments. This cheque was converted to a bank draft and deposited ‘in-trust’ to a bank account registered in the name of Hendin’s law practice. A mortgage was then registered against the property in favour of Gary Hendin ‘in-trust.’ The source of the mortgage was a company incorporated in a tax haven country and controlled directly by Hendin’s criminal client. The funds were issued from a numbered bank account in the tax haven country held by this shell company. The funds in this off-shore account were in fact the proceeds of drug sales that had been wire transferred from Canada. No payments were ever made on the fictitious mortgage (Beare and Schneider, 1990, pp. 317–18).