Lawyers help launder money: RCMP report

National Post reporter Adrian Humphreys spun off several stories for the April 2 edition from an RCMP report about money laundering prepared by criminologist Stephen Schneider, a research associate with York’s Nathanson Centre for the Study of Organized Crime and Corruption. In one story, Humphreys highlighted the study’s finding that lawyers launder half of all dirty money in cases tracked by the RCMP. “In the majority of police cases involving lawyers, they appear to have been unaware of the criminal source of funds provided by an offender,” the report says. “However, the research also identified cases where a lawyer should have become suspicious of the circumstances surrounding a particular transaction, such as the use of a large amount of cash in small denominations to purchase real estate…. In those cases where a lawyer appears to have been cognizant of the criminal source of funds, their services were often explicitly sought out and, in some cases, repeatedly used by offenders to launder their illegal revenue.” In another story, Humphreys highlighted the report’s finding that criminals hide ill-gotten gains in unusual places – from an Albertan ranch with roaming cattle to gold coins and collectible art, from toilet paper and luxury boats to a collection of Nazi daggers.

Playing the patriotic card in Taiwan

The growing sense of national identity in Taiwan is so strong that newly elected President Chen Shui-bian’s rivals from the Kuomintang party, Lien Chan and running mate James Soong, had to kiss the ground during a political rally to show their patriotic fervour, reported the Globe and Mail April 2 in an article about democratic movements in Taiwan and Hong Kong. “This election was about who loves Taiwan more,” said Michael Stainton, a research associate with the York Centre for Asian Research.

Don’t import judge selection ‘mess’, Ontario minister urges

Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant will wade into the debate over the process of appointing Supreme Court justices in a speech April 2 that argues against a proposal to have nominees screened by a federal parliamentary committee, reported the Ottawa Citizen April 2. “Importing the confirmation mess from the United States doesn’t make any sense,” Bryant said April 1. “[It is] basically pushing judges to be politicians with judicial robes on.” Bryant, who will deliver the keynote address at an Osgoode Hall Law School conference on Supreme Court case law, said Ontario has a keen interest in how the federal government goes about filling the two openings created by the departure of Supreme Court justices.

York grad takes helm at Sony Canada

Sony of Canada Ltd. has named York alumnus and long-time Sony executive Doug D. Wilson president and chief operating officer, reported Canadian Press April 1. Wilson, 45, has been with Sony for almost 20 years and has been president of Sony Logistics America since mid-2002. He earned a BA in economics from York in 1988.

On air

  • Sergei Plekhanov, Post-Communist Studies Program coordinator at York University, was interviewed about who’s to blame for four days of explosions, shooting and suicide bombings that have killed 40 people in Uzbekistan, in a CBC Radio item aired on local programs in Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Calgary and Quebec on April 1.
  • Realtor and York grad Steve Fudge (BA ’88, MES ’93) discussed his career and how he uses what he learned while studying environmental science at York University, on CBC Radio’s “Here and Now” April 1.