Thursday, May 14, 2009
Ontario requests out-of-province B.C. Special Prosecutor for alleged Police, Crown fraud case
OPP officer, Crown accused of fixing charges, court filings show Investigation into alleged fraud scheme at Bombardier widens into sweeping probe.
By Christie Blatchford
The Globe and Mail
Toronto - May 14, 2009
What appears to have started out as a simple investigation of a fraud at Bombardier Inc. has broadened to become a sweeping probe with allegations that a senior Ontario Provincial Police officer, a Toronto Crown attorney and accused criminals were in cahoots to fix charges.
The allegations are contained in a public document called an information filed by OPP in Brampton court.
Earlier this week, The Globe and Mail has learned, OPP officers executed a search warrant upon Crown offices at the College Park courts, and Brendan Crawley, a spokesman for the Ontario Attorney-General, confirmed last night that the province has brought in an out-of-province special prosecutor to handle the case.
He is the well-known and well-regarded criminal defence lawyer Richard Peck, of Vancouver, who successfully defended Ajaib Singh Bagri in the Air India bombing trial.
Charged with nine counts ranging from fraud to obstructing justice to breach of trust is veteran OPP Sergeant Michael Rutigliano, 49, who served as manager of the force's "court case management" for the Toronto area. Sgt. Rutigliano has an office at the Old City Hall courts downtown.
The breach of trust charge relates to "his duties as an OPP officer" and alleges that he was "dishonestly abusing his position to gain corrupt advantage for his associates charged with offences."
Named in one count as an "unindicted co-conspirator," which means he is isn't charged but is alleged to have had some involvement, is Toronto prosecutor Domenic Basile.
Mr. Basile rotates through several Toronto courthouses, including College Park.
In what it seems was the original investigation, Sgt. Rutigliano, a business associate and two former employees of Bombardier are alleged to have conspired to defraud the aircraft maker in a multimillion dollar fraud.
But The Globe has learned that during this probe, police came upon what is the more stunning series of alleged offences - that Sgt. Rutigliano allegedly helped one man, Peter Mavroudis, "avoid prosecution in Ontario" and that he "conspired and agreed with Frank D'Angelo," the former beer magnate, and Mr. Basile to obstruct or defeat "the course of justice in the sexual assault prosecution" against Mr. D'Angelo.
That latter allegation is curious, because Mr. D'Angelo, who was acquitted just last month of sexually assaulting a friend's daughter, had a trial by judge alone, and was prosecuted by Crowns from the North York office.
Though Ontario Superior Court Judge John Hamilton found him not guilty, he said that he found the evidence of both Mr. D'Angelo and his accuser credible.
Mr. Mavroudis is a 50-year-old former resident of Georgetown, Ont., who just last January pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud over $5,000 and was sentenced to four years in jail.
According to newspaper reports at the time, he admitted taking $370,000 from ticket buyers who thought they were buying premium seats for Toronto Maple Leafs games.
Arrested on May 3, 2007, he was released on bail and scheduled for a court appearance last November, but never showed up. A Canada-wide warrant was issued for his arrest, and he was eventually tracked down in Vancouver on December 7.
Sgt. Rutigliano is accused of helping him avoid prosecution in Ontario during that very same period: between Sept. 1 of 2007 and Dec. 8 of last year.
Named in a so-called "no-contact" order are Sgt. Rutigliano's co-accused and a handful of other prosecutors and defence lawyers.
Dan Kirby, who is representing Sgt. Rutigliano - in custody pending his bail hearing tomorrow - and the two former Bombardier employees who were released on bail yesterday, said Sgt. Rutigliano intends to "plead not guilty" to all charges. He expressed concern that names "are being bandied about in relation" to some of the charges, and added, "We believe there's no merit to that."
Gordo faces new challenges
... LINGERING SCANDALS: Former solicitor-general John Les may be under police investigation for possible dodgy land deals, but he was still easily re-elected in Chilliwack.
No surprise there. Campbell could run a shaved ape in the Liberal-loving Fraser Valley and it would win in a landslide. Unfortunately for Les and Campbell, that doesn't make the police probe go away. If charges are laid, it would be a major blow to the Liberals.
The B.C. Rail scandal, meanwhile, may finally go to court. When that stinking hamper is finally tipped over, who knows how much dirty laundry will be strung on the line? ...
Read Michael Smyth's column HERE.
I mean really, couldn't you have picked a fairer metaphor?
Why is there no federal review, committee or ministerial, of the BC government's plans to break NAFTA's water-sales provisions - since it affects all Canadians?
We all know the truth, as summed up by one of CBC's reporters the other night:
"BC is where things are tried out before they're introduced in the rest of the country". He was meaning BC-STV, but the reality is a lot wider, and more sinister. The rest of the country isn't told what's being done to democracy, and to public affairs, in BC, because if it can be gotten away with, it will be applied across the board.
And yeah, being a shaved ape I take exception to Michael Smyth's remark....
Interesting/disgusting to me was the large number of negatives that today's Province published about the BC Liberal party (in this Smyth article as well as other places in the rag). I'll have to check the Sun and the TC to see if they did the same thing.
I sincerely hope that readers don't get wooed into believing that those CanWest rags are anything but biased. This type of commentary after the election is way too little, way overdue! Perhaps now that their party is in for 4 more years they can publish some Liberal scandals to sell some papers. They will have years before the writ gets dropped again. They may have a rebuild the party plan (possibly build the Conservative Party) to put in place when Campbell and his chronies make off to some warm exotic tax haven that has no extradition treaty with Canada.
(Hey Mary, I can't seem to get my Blogger name to work all of the time).
My guess is that it's a blogger thing ... I notice the same problem occurs regularly on Bill T's blog and elsewhere.
But next visit, it's back to normal.
Blogger-world is a wonderful, free service ... so can't complain.
I remember seeing this in much of the American Media in late 2004, early 2005 after The Shrubbery won the second time...
Is it possible that some members of Lotusland's Puffed-Up Punditry are trying to pretend they really do subscribe to the HL Mencken Doctrine (ie. "the only way a reporter should look at a politician is down") after-the-fact*.
*ie. when their Paymasters and/or the 'Evils of Access' high praetorian guard won't give a damn.
Here we are into the fifth year of waiting for the Basi/Virk/Basi trial to get off the ground and the probable length of sentencing for the three political insiders for the BC Liberals, if found guilty, will be the same amount of the time.
Bryan Tickell 'demonstated a "blithe pattern of deception" married with a "keen sense of opportunity" to exploit clients who were unable to look after themsleves.' - Crown Prosecutor Jan Hay
The same may be said for how the BC Liberals have failed look after the public interests in their having sold off BC Rail when they said they wouldn't.
Mr. Tickell's gets two years in jail, three years on probation... and just how much of that will be knocked off for good behaviour... which will also be done for others charged with the breach of trust.
The disgraceful Ontario, high ranking officer will walk.
Thats why they called in a 'special' prosecutor from BC!
Who comes with 'special' witnesses..
. . . the 'Special' Prosecutor's from BC are only 'special' in that they have mastered the art of how to toss out any whiff of wrongdoing linked to well connected, political culprits and/or to protect the public system they are attached to.
Simply review the number of Special Prosecutors this decade, that have been appointed to examine high profile misconduct in BC and the answer is clear: the justice system is politically tainted from end to end.
Special Prosecutors have become one more tool to FIX the outcome for the guilty.
With Gordo's re-election, which obviously re-affirmed his confidence that the voters of BC prefer to know as little as possible about the issues he apparently gave the go ahead for the Operation Obfuscation Offensive when it comes to sharing (as if the first couple of campaigns weren't obfuscative enough) with the citizens of BC anything at all about the proceedings in the court system they PAY for and would love to expect to see justice delivered by.
Once again the Ministry of the Attorney General (known for his masonry skills -StoneWall Building for those who couldn't figure that out - and The Court Services Online have completely re-vamped their whole lay-out, obviously too many people were occasionally actually finding relevant and timely information before!
Still though they do promise to TRY and post the schedule by 6:00am, giving those folks all the way out to maybe Maple Ridge a chance to attend court if a case they are interested in is "maybe" scheduled, because of course after the disclaimers at the website, I'm not even sure there is a Court System, really!
In fact I may have already violated some copyright issues by discussing the issues above, based on my mystification caused by visiting the Court Services Online website! I think I will consult a lawyer before I actually go to the CSO "semi-informational" site again!