Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Federal Officials Feared Consequences After Intelligence Unit Protected Bank That Broke Law


The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC) is the agency that tracks money laundering and terror financing in Canada.
Does FINTRAC simply protect Banks from responsibility for their crimes? At least one former senior member of the RCMP believes they simply protect the Banks from the consequences of their crimes.

 See the exert below from the National Observer.

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Federal officials feared consequences after intelligence unit protected bank that broke law

#3 of 4 articles from the Special Report: National Observer and Toronto Star
Canada's financial intelligence agency has faced a storm of criticism for protecting the identity of a bank that violated money-laundering rules. File photo by The Canadian Press
In the winter of 2016, senior officials within the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), a federal government agency that regulates the banking sector, were scrambling to learn more about a $1.15-million fine levied on one of Canada’s banks for violating a federal money laundering law.
Yet the name of the bank has never been revealed to this day, with FINTRAC stubbornly refusing to divulge it. The $1.15-million fine was imposed after the unnamed bank broke money laundering rules by failing to report nearly 1,200 transactions from 2012 to 2013 by one of its customers, who was known to be under criminal investigation.
Now internal emails obtained through an access to information request by National Observer and the Toronto Star, reveal that OSFI found FINTRAC’s rationale for keeping the bank’s name secret counterproductive and that it could lead to future problems.
“As soon as the penalty is published with no name, all the banks will want the same treatment if they are penalized,” wrote Nicolas Burbidge, a senior advisor at OSFI. And Christine Ring, one of the OSFI directors in Toronto, wondered in an email whether FINTRAC’s refusal to name the bank implied “the (administrative monetary penalty) regime is even less effective/dissuasive because public naming is discretionary????”
Burbidge also admitted to knowing which was the offending bank, but the documents don't divulge the name.
This past December, National Observer and the Star published details of the events that triggered the fine, specifically involving a convicted felon named Andrew Strempler. A Winnipeg-based pharmacist, Strempler had for years sold pharmaceuticals to Americans online, claiming the drugs were approved in Canada when, in fact, they were often being imported from countries where quality was not assured.
"Strempler did not disclose to his customers the risks he was taking with their health and safety," noted the U.S. government in one document. Strempler was arrested in Miami in 2012, sentenced the following year and released from prison in 2015. Strempler had a business relationship with a Canadian bank, which failed to report his hundreds of electronic financial transactions in violation of money laundering laws.
Yet FINTRAC kept Strempler’s identity, his banking activities and his bank’s name secret from the public.
When the fine’s existence hit the media in April of 2016, several news reports criticized FINTRAC for not naming the bank. The recent cache of emails National Observer obtained reveals that OSFI officials were closely monitoring the blowback that FINTRAC was receiving. Although heavily redacted, the emails give a glimpse into what OSFI managers were thinking about FINTRAC’s decision. They suggest OFSI found FINTRAC's decision puzzling.
FINTRAC has claimed that by not naming the offending bank, this acts as a deterrent to other banks. But OSFI officials saw that this rationale held little water. In one email, Danny Cooper, a director of OSFI, notes that while the large banks had been forced to publicly deny they'd been fined, Canada’s smaller banks were “under considerable pressure to confirm that they do not have a… fine pending, either verbally or through a formal press release.” Cooper’s email indicates this was causing a problem for the smaller banks.
The emails also reveal that the bank’s crime was no trivial matter and Ring, the Toronto OFSI director, suggested in an email to colleagues that she assumed the bank's name would ultimately be revealed. In December of 2014, Ring mused in an email to colleagues that “the compliance deficiencies (by the bank) are considered to be ‘very serious’ which is the language used in the letter by FINTRAC.” Ring added that FINTRAC was waiting for the bank’s “action plan” and that there would be “no name and shame until the dust settles, ie. the appeal process and has been exercised and completed.”
By last year, however, the bank had already appealed the fine, which FINTRAC lowered from $1.5-million to $1.15-million, and the appeal process ended. And still FINTRAC refuses to name the bank.

FINTRAC protecting the unnamed bank?

Bill Majcher, a former RCMP inspector, feels FINTRAC is protecting the banking industry. Majcher is also the former head of one of the RCMP''s Integrated Market Enforcement Teams in Vancouver and an international expert on money laundering who used to train FINTRAC personnel. “I think there is no other reason other than some incompetent individual at the top who thinks it wouldn’t be politically expedient to (name the bank),” he told National Observer.
“This is not the first time that this has occurred. I can tell you from personal experience any time you have allegations of criminal activity or illicit activity that touches upon members or could affect members of the establishment, particularly public figures, the government will suppress all of that information… It’s a careerist decision, not an operational decision...
“FINTRAC is 100 per cent driven by bureaucrats with the bureaucrats’ mindset,” Majcher added. “It is not about functionality and it’s not about bottom line results. It’s about creating a safe instrument that allows political pressure to be diverted from what is Ottawa doing to combat global terrorism and organized crime. In fact, we are doing very little. The biggest joke is Canada is truly the soft underbelly of global financial crime and money movements. No question.”


Former RCMP inspector Bill Majcher says he believes that FINTRAC is protecting the banking industry. Photo courtesy of Bill Majcher
FINTRAC took more than eight months to release the documents requested through access to information legislation. An investigation by the office of Canada's information commissioner concluded that this delay was "unreasonable," putting FINTRAC in a state of "deemed refusal" under the Access to Information Act — a violation of the legislation.
When asked about the delay, FINTRAC told National Observer and the Star in a statement that there were several factors that affected its response to the access to information request, "including the fact that the matter involved litigation, the complex nature of the requested information, the volume of requests received on this matter and the large number of records involved."
Meanwhile, FINTRAC was closely monitoring the reaction to its decision not to publish the bank's name. Among the documents that the Observer obtained was an internal FINTRAC analysis of the public and media responses.
The analysis noted that by April 6, 2016, “the tone of the media coverage became increasingly negative and critical of FINTRAC’s decision to withhold the name of the financial institution.” The analysis noted a high volume of media calls, the response by the prime minister and other ministers, and critical comments by the media and the public. One member of the public who contacted FINTRAC noted: “I would want to know if the bank where I do my daily banking transactions is involved in criminal activities. If it is involved, I would close my accounts and go elsewhere. FINTRAC should be held accountable in disclosing all of the facts of this investigation and penalty.”
Overall, this report shows FINTRAC was being pilloried for refusing to name the bank. FINTRAC’s website page that logs penalties drew 548 views on the day of the announcement – a 243 per cent increase over a normal day.

Experts critical of FINTRAC's decision

The condemnation continues, according to various experts interviewed by National Observer and the Star. “It’s unconscionable,” says Kenneth Rijock, a financial crime consultant in the U.S. who regularly investigates cases in Canada and trains law enforcement agencies here. “There’s no reason we shouldn’t know. It’s not just about Canadian banks. It’s about the financial industry everywhere needing this information if they’re conducting business in Canada. We need to know this.” An “overemphasis” on privacy “pervades” Canadian regulatory systems and draws a stark difference between Canada and the U.S., he remarked.
“Canadians are always more enlightened and less brutal,” Rijock said. “But that doesn’t mean you have to give criminals a pass. In the U.S. this exact set of facts would have resulted in tens of millions in fines and the bank itself would have been required to sign a deferred prosecution agreement, meaning if you don’t clean up your act you’re going to be charged with a felony or a number of felonies.”
Richard Leblanc, a professor of corporate governance at York and Harvard Universities, said that “nowhere in the emails was the public interest discussed… Naming of the institution would cause media scrutiny, but the procedural rights of the bank would remain intact. If a person or firm is charged civilly or criminally, the name of the person or firm is almost always disclosed, as a matter of public interest and transparency, at the time the person or firm is charged, not after the sentence or appeal rights have been exhausted.”
Christine Duhaime, a Vancouver-based lawyer who specializes in counter-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering law, also said the fine of $1.2-million is woefully low given the seriousness of the offense. “The conduct was egregious,” Duhaime told the Star. “I suspect that there will never be another case for many years to come with such an egregious compliance record by a bank... It boggles the mind and suggests a systemic problem of either not understanding or complying with, or a complete disregard for, Canadian law.”
“I'm sure that FINTRAC debated the issue for quite some time and perhaps the decision was a difficult one,” she continued, “but the reality is that a fine of just over $1-million... sends a message to financial institutions, reporting entities and indeed all Canadians that anti-money laundering compliance in Canada is not important. If it were important, Canada would impose substantial fines that harm reporting entities.”
When asked for comment on the internal emails obtained by Observer, OSFI refused to clarify, except noting that: “While discussions occur between OSFI and FINTRAC officials, OSFI is prevented by legislation from discussing the nature of those discussions publicly. OSFI does not comment on the actions taken by other organizations.”
FINTRAC also remains unwavering in its decision not to publish the bank’s name, sticking to the claim that it serves as a deterrent. And in a statement to the Observer, FINTRAC noted: “In determining a penalty amount, FINTRAC assesses harm in relation to the degree to which the violation limits FINTRAC, and more broadly Canada's anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing regime, from detecting and deterring money laundering and terrorist financing.” Whether FINTRAC was protecting the bank from embarrassment, it responded that “this did not factor into FINTRAC’s decision-making in any way.”
Nevertheless, Duhaime, the Vancouver lawyer, remains frustrated by FINTRAC’s position. “I think… us average people, have a right to know what bank it is,” she said. “Centuries ago we did away with secret and favourable legal proceedings and opted instead for a constitutional democracy where the rule of law prevails… My view is that the greater need for the rule of law to prevail should dictate that FINTRAC release the name of the bank, come what may. ...it's the right and legal thing to do.”
Editor's note: This story was updated on Feb. 19, 2017 to correct that the amount of the financial penalty was $1.15 million


Source
http://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/02/15/news/federal-officials-feared-consequences-after-intelligence-unit-protected-bank-broke

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Monday, 27 February 2017

Report From SIPA Details Mass Fraud in Canada



 More on the mass amount of financial fraud allowed to take place in Canada right underneath the noses of the very regulators who are supposed to protect Canadians, a report from the Small Investors Protection Association details the depths of the scam.

Here is an exert from that report,

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"Financial Advisor, as you noted, is a common title which many persons use, whether they are registered under securities legislation or not. The use of this title is not generally prohibited, and may be used by anyone, including persons who are only licensed to deal in insurance products, mortgage brokers, deposit agents, or employees of financial institutions. …

As with Financial Advisor, the title of Vice President is increasingly a common title used in the fi-nancial services industry. While an officer of a firm may be designated to be a vice president, the use of the title is not reserved to actual officers of a corporation. As such, it is not safe to assume a person described as a vice president is in fact an officer of that corporation."
Chris Besko Acting General Counsel & Acting Director The Manitoba Securities Commission


(In response to SIPA inquiry to the CSA Secretariat)
ADVISOR TITLE TRICKERY
 Securities Acts define an "Adviser" as having responsibility to look after investors’ best interests.

 Regulators say "Financial Advisor" is an unregulated business title that can be used by anyone.

 Sales persons are not legally required to look after investors’ best interests.

 Industry uses the title "Financial Advisor" for their sales persons to gain trust.
Executive Summary:
Securities Regulators selectively ignore portions of Provincial Securities Acts, letting Investment Dealers deceive millions of Canadian investors in many ways. We will be issuing a series of reports intended to shine a light onto this harm being done to Canadians, by many of our most trusted institutions as well as government authorized regulatory bodies.

In this report, we examine how over 100,000 financial professionals in Canada take advantage and skirt laws against misrepresentation. This allows investment sellers a clear "get-away" from the laws against deception of the public.

In 2012 one of the biggest news stories in Canada was about a selective meat inspection process in Alberta, and the resulting harm to Canadians. It turns out that tainted meat products were being carefully inspected so as to not enter the export markets, but the tainted product was allowed to be sold to Canadians. This called into question both the quality of the product itself, and the government inspection process. This report looks at items which are hidden from investors view, and can similarly do harm to Canadians.

With the knowledge of 13 Provincial Securities Commissions who are responsible for protecting the public interest, these harms appear similarly negligent, to the failures of the meat inspection and regulation process. What if Canadians were consuming tainted investment advice, like some regulators allowed E-coli tainted meat into the system? This report demonstrates that the analogy is a valid one.
Page 3
SMALL INVESTOR PROTECTION ASSOCIATION
A Voice for Small Investors

Seeking Truth and Justice
 
 
The "Advisor" Bait and Switch
There are 121,932 total registrants in Canada as of Sept 16, 2016 in the investment industry. 4,076 persons or 3% of that total are legally registered in the category of Adviser or Advising Representative.

http://aretheyregistered.ca


Only four thousand and seventy six (4076) persons are registered in the category where a true fiduciary professional responsibility is legally required to be delivered to you as the investor.

"A fiduciary is an individual in whom another has placed the utmost trust and confidence in to manage and protect property or money. This person has an obligation to act for another's benefit. The duties of a fiduciary include loyalty and reasonable care of the assets within custody. All of the fiduciary's actions are performed for the advantage of the beneficiary."

http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/fiduciary

Wait a minute, what about the other 117,856, you ask? They fall under the most common registration category and are called Dealing Representatives. What exactly does Dealing Representative mean? According to the Canadian Securities Administrators a "Dealing Representative is a sales person – what they can sell depends on the firm they work for and their registration."


In 1 minute 30 seconds this video shows how to search this for yourself at

http://unpublishedottawa.com/letter/88147/intentional-deception-investors


That's right; the vast majority of investment registrants are just salespersons! These people are not legally required to place the interests of the investor ahead of those of their dealer. This is the bait and switch and the root cause of a great deal of harm being played out upon nearly every Canadian investor. The Dealing Representative legally acts as an agent of the dealer, and NOT firstly an agent of the investor. Client relationship rules currently allow this to be hidden from your view, and the investor is expected to be responsible for learning this information themselves. Many unfortunately learn the hard way.
On September 17th 2015 the Ontario Securities Commission released a report called "Mystery Shopping for Investment Advice" which uncovered a number of disturbing facts. One being that the shoppers encountered no fewer than 48 different business titles during the shops! Investors need better protection than a standard that permits registrants to choose their own business titles based on meeting minimal standards of accuracy and misrepresentation.


http://www.osc.gov.on.ca/en/Investors_iap_20151103_response-mystery-shopping-report.htm

Dealing with a salesperson when you think you have a professional "adviser", is thus the epitome of a Buyer Beware relationship, despite new Client Relationship (CRM2) rules effected in 2016. Seven out of ten Canadians believe they are working with a financial expert with a legal obligation to look out for their best interests. SIPA – website: www.sipa.ca – e-mail: sipa.toronto@gmail.com


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SMALL INVESTOR PROTECTION ASSOCIATION
A Voice for Small Investors

Seeking Truth and Justice
 
 
How could so many Canadians be so misled? Sadly because this deception and word trickery is not what the investment industry promises the investor. They proclaim nearly everything but the need for their customers to be warned they are entering into a "buyer beware" relationship. See our previous report on deceptive advertising and you will understand why. http://sipa.ca/library/SIPAsubmissions/720_SIPA_Report_Deception_20150505.pdf
 


It is estimated that hundreds of billions of dollars are lost by Canadians over the past few decades during which this salesperson/broker/advisor/adviser ruse has taken place. (1988 to 2016)

This 1 min 40 second tutorial walks you through the CSA web site to give you the specific license or registration category your so called advisor holds, not what they purport to be with non-regulated marketing titles. https://youtu.be/zIjt0qRsJKg


You should also be aware that it is not uncommon for industry representatives to have more than one designation. For example the representative may be registered as

 A "Portfolio Manager" with responsibility for managing accounts or operating a discretionary and has a fiduciary responsibility

 An "Advising Representative" qualified to give investment advice and has a fiduciary responsibility

 A "Dealing Representative" qualified to sell financial products but without fiduciary responsibility or responsibility to look after clients’ best interests.

This multiple registration enables your representative to "change hats" and work with you as a sales person without responsibility to look after your best interests even though he may be qualified as a Portfolio Manager or an Advising Representative. This is just one of the "dirty tricks" played by the industry to deceive investors.

Practically all professional investors have a fiduciary adviser, while 99% of retail investors, ordinary Canadians like you and I, are "switched" to commission salespersons wearing a false title and disguise. It is a simple two-tier investing system with legal protections for the professionals, and "slim-to-none", for the majority of Canadians. A fiduciary "Adviser" is legally obligated to place his or her skills to work in managing your money as best as can be professionally done. A non-fiduciary "Dealing Representative" (salesperson) can sell you anything that they deem "suitable", even if it is second, third, or fifth down the list of quality or efficiency. The "suitability obligation" is the equivalent of a used car dealer’s obligation. See this investor warning from the ASC on this topic. What’s in a name? Does the title of your investment professional matter? http://www.albertasecurities.com/investor/investor-resources/you-ascd-blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=63

Here is a link to a short video where Ex TD Bank CEO Ed Clark states that the culture of greed in banks allows for a business model that in essence says "my clients are really counter-parties that I can make money off " https://youtu.be/23xWWsGp6vU

 SIPA – website: www.sipa.ca – e-mail: sipa.toronto@gmail.com


  Source -
http://sipa.ca/library/SIPAsubmissions/500%20SIPA%20REPORT%20-%20Advisor%20Title%20Trickery%20October%202016.pdf

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Saturday, 25 February 2017

From former CIA operative Robert Steele - An Interesting Prospective on the War Inside the Deep State



 An interesting perspective on the war inside the Deep State USA, will President Trump survive in the White House or will the Deep State factions working to destroy America prevail?

 A report on the real war inside the US. How does this effect us here in BC? The 'Deep State', and/or the Cabal that runs the finances and the military industrial complex is an entity that exists beyond national borders. Issues such as Barrick Golds  mass market rigging fraud and the funding of 9/11 are in part emanating from and shielded by various traitorous Canadian factions whether its certain billionaire 'elite' or individuals throughout various governmental positions.
http://bcsecuritiescommissionasham.blogspot.ca/2017/01/911-funding-bronfman-family-barrick.html

and
http://bcsecuritiescommissionasham.blogspot.ca/2017/01/more-on-barricks-barricudas-stephen.html

Robert Steele is a former high level CIA agent who is working to restore the United States to "We the People". Mr. Steele has a message for President Donald Trump, will the new President be the victim of a 'soft coupe' so everything will stay status quo for the banksters in Washington?



As always more to come..

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Investment broker-dealers use sleight of hand to exploit 100 million Americans



More from the desk of Financial Expert Larry Elford and Unpublished Ottawa.


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Investment broker-dealers use sleight of hand to exploit 100 million Americans
‘Card manipulation’ is the branch of magical illusion that deals with creating effects using sleight of hand techniques involving playing cards.
While watching a magician at the Los Angeles Magic Castle, I saw a card manipulation pro do amazing tricks for a five year old girl. She was mystified and certain that what she saw was real and that magic is possible. Absolute wide eyed certainty was on her face. (Effect - how a magic trick is perceived by a spectator)
It reminded me of the schoolteacher I spoke to this week who was concerned about her investments.
Her advisor had put all her investment holdings into a fee-based account, where she was charged 2% each year to ‘manage and advise’ her.

Investment Problem #1 was that she was being told to add 2% to her investment costs, every year. (2% compounded over the long term will cut your retirement funds by half, while putting the other half in the hands of your broker and dealer.

Investment Problem #2 is that she had already bought and paid for all her investments and faced considerable fees and commissions to do so. Not to belabour the point but she had already paid for her investments. 
The dealer had simply devised a new way to charge her again. To effectively give themselves on an ‘annuity’ based on every dollar in her account earning them a fee, every day of the year. This smacks of taking a position of trust or influence over an investor's financial matters, and abusing that trust for the personal gain of the broker and the dealer.
Investment Problem #3 was that the advisor was faking his license, while cleverly hiding the fact that he held only the salesperson registration, otherwise known as a ‘broker’. This ‘un-prosecutable fraud’ allows commission hungry salespersons to dupe investors by purporting to be licensed fiduciary professionals.

These are not insignificant issues and yet they happen to millions of investors, without them being told of the scam.  Furthermore, Investment Advisers are supposed to work for the client, and to solve problems for their clients not to cause problems for their cliensts.
She opened her computer in her home 1000 miles away and I opened my own. I walked her through the 30 seconds required to find the actual license/registration of her advisor. 
I had to do this because without her actually seeing how the trick ‘worked’, something called ‘cognitive dissonance’ (fear of admitting/discovering we are easily fooled) steps in to assure most of us that we are too smart to be tricked so easily.
Most retail investors do not understand the differences between investment advisers and broker-dealers. They are forgiven for being in the dark, because the financial industry deliberately deceives more than 100 million North American investors.
Using sleight of hand, like a card shark or a con artist, the investment advisor of today is allowed to trick over 95% of American investors into a false sense of trust. 
Imagine being allowed to lie to investors, in order to gain trust. This is the very same show that the con artist does for a living. Who knew is was standard investment industry practice as well? Who could even imagine? Magicians can. Securities lawyers can. Regulators can. But they are each bound to silence.
This investor was convinced that her advisor was real, that his skills were above her understanding, and that she was only protected if she placed herself and her family money in the hands of the advisor.
The trouble is that the advisor’(salesperson) who advises her on her money did not hold the professional standing adviser license and registration. Wait a minute…didn’t I already say that last line, just a moment ago?
It is time that I helped you spot the distraction. The magic of the con artist, or the magician is to weave a story based upon one or two facts, whilst distracting the audience in subtle and clever ways.
The distraction, performed in over 100 Million bank/broker/dealer accounts [1]
First, hide ones true license or registration from the customer, so they do not find out that you are a salesperson on commission.
Second change the title that you use by one letter, from the legally-meaning term “adviser”, to “advisor”.
That one clever ‘vowel movement’ allows a million commission sellers of stocks, insurance and mutual fund products to pretend to be SEC or state registered ‘advisers’. 
It would be like having a career as a pharmaceutical company drug sales rep, and figuring out that one can easily triple sales if I portray myself as a Doctor. I gain greater trust, and more money by lying to my clients. Welcome to the standard daily practice of the 'self' regulated investment industry. See  http://www.finra.org/about
One has a ‘do no harm’ oath, and the other sells products for commission. One charges approximately 1% and the fee is not subject to sales motivations or product incentives. One must work (by law) for the betterment of the client, and the other works (agency duty undisclosed) for the betterment of the dealer. 
Train yourself to learn these key differences and how to spot the ‘trick’ being played on you, and one hundred million other Americans.
Product selling is not advice, and advice does not involve product selling. It is a clever hiding, of the agency duty, the duty to protect, serve and care for the customer, and hiding that a salesperson does not have this same duty to protect you. You are at the mercy of the #1 con in North America, while you are convinced that you are being served by a true professional. Do not feel bad. As I write this perhaps only 100 people in America even believe what I am saying, such is the power of a good con, to cause the victim to mentally ‘lock-in’ the impossibility of him or her being duped. That goes into a topic called ‘cognitive dissonance’.
For 600,000 commission sales brokers.  http://www.finra.org/newsroom/statistics (The million number mentioned above also includes insurance and mutual fund registrants, many of whom operate outside the boundaries of FINRA)
After all, they work for a trusted financial firm, and they call themselves ‘advisor’. Isn’t it safe to assume that our government would not allow consumers to be lied to with such cleverness. Not it is not safe at all. Perhaps it was during the last century, but those days are gone.
Here are some of the links and backstory details for anyone who would like to dig a bit deeper. I hope that some readers will make a careful exploration of this material, and will contact me at visualinvestigations@shaw.ca (in Canada) if you would like to correct anything here that needs correcting. I would be grateful for those who help me to better understand what I think to be the most costly consumer ‘bait and switch’ scam in the world today.

The first three minutes of the video below, it gives a glimpse into how the 'trick' looks from the perspective of a former industry insider.  It is not John Oliver or Hollywood production values, just @RecoveredBroker in Canada trying to share my experience, strength and hope with others that they may not be taken advantage of.  Cheers and thanks for helping this message find it's way to those who might benefit from it.





Source -
http://unpublishedottawa.com/letter/132101/sleight-hand-card-tricks-used-fool-100-million-american-investors

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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Spain Sets Massive Precedent — Charges Its Central Bankers in Court


The following news out of Spain.. A Regulator gets called to Court.

  See below for more

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Spain Sets Massive Precedent — Charges Its Central Bankers in Court


First, Iceland, and now Spain has taken on the Big Bankers responsible for financial calamity, as the country’s highest national court charged the former head of Spain’s central bank, a market regulator, and five other banking officials over a failed bank leading to the loss of millions of euros for smaller investors.
This, of course, markedly departs from the mammoth taxpayer giveaway — commonly referred to as the bailout — approved by the U.S. government ostensively to “save” the Big Banks and, albeit unstated, allow the enormous institutions to continue bilking customers without the slightest fear of penalty.
Errant bankers and financiers, it would seem, typically manage to either evade actually being charged, or escape hefty fines and time behind bars.
Spain’s Supreme Court last year ruled “serious inaccuracies” in information about the listing led investors to back Bankia in error, thus the bank has since paid out millions of euros in compensation.
But Spanish authorities could not abide the telling findings of a yearslong investigation into the failed listing, as Wolf Street explains,
“As part of the epic, multi-year criminal investigation into the doomed IPO of Spain’s frankenbank Bankia – which had been assembled from the festering corpses of seven already defunct saving banks – Spain’s national court called to testify six current and former directors of the Bank of Spain, including its former governor, Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez, and its former deputy governor (and current head of the Bank of International Settlements’ Financial Stability Institute), Fernando Restoy. It also summoned for questioning Julio Segura, the former president of Spain’s financial markets regulator, the CNMV [National Securities Market Commission] (the Spanish equivalent of the SEC in the US).
“The six central bankers and one financial regulator stand accused of authorizing the public launch of Bankia in 2011 despite repeated warnings from the Bank of Spain’s own team of inspectors that the banking group was ‘unviable.’”
As AFP reports, “The National Court validated conclusions made by prosecutors who concluded that when ‘an unviable entity has been listed on the stock market, its administrators or auditor should not shoulder all the responsibility.’”
Specifics of the charges have not yet been made apparent, but as The Economist reports:
“The court is questioning why they allowed Bankia to sell shares in an initial public offering in 2011, less than a year before Bankia’s portfolio of bad mortgage loans forced the government to seize control of it. It said there was evidence the regulators had ‘full and thorough knowledge’ of Bankia’s plight. After its nationalisation, it went on to report a €19.2bn ($24.7bn) loss for 2012, the largest in Spanish corporate history.”
Internal emails and documents played a crucial role in ultimately bringing the central banking officials to task for the failure of Bankia — inspectors bringing issues to the attention of superiors were allegedly ignored. One email cited by the Economist came from an inspector who warned Bankia was “a money-losing machine,” for which an IPO would not solve.
Another report, deemed “devastating by the court,” saw an inspector advise Bankia to seek a private buyer rather than proceed with the listing.
An inquiry into “the participation of other players, such as officials in the central bank,” was also urged by the National Court.
As the Economist points out, Spanish judges are generally reluctant to sentence first-time financial criminals to prison; though five Novacaixagalicia executives had five-year suspended sentences — levied for embezzlement in 2015 — abruptly enforced in January.
Meanwhile, taxpayers in the United States have yet to see Big Bankers criminally responsible for the financial ruin of so many Americans brought to any semblance of justice for their wrongdoing.

Source
https://steemit.com/news/@tftproject/spain-sets-massive-precedent-charges-its-central-bankers-in-court

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Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The Mechanics of Manipulation - How Gold Bullion Prices are Manipulated with Paper Gold



An exert from Bullion Star on the mechanics of manipulation of bullion prices.

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Infographic: Bullion Banking Mechanics


Bullion banks are some of the most influential participants in the global gold market. But who are these players and what do they actually do? And most importantly, how can these bullion banks trade thousands of times more gold each year than is actually in existence?
This infographic lifts the lid on bullion banking, looking at the world of fractional-reserve paper gold trading built on the unallocated gold account system. Topics covered include:
  • The identities of these bullion banks
  • The fractional reserve nature of bullion banking and the paper gold creation process
  • How the staggeringly large paper gold trading volumes are generated
  • The gold price discovery process and how the price of gold is set in London by unallocated trading which channels gold demand away from real physical gold and into paper
  • The secretive nature of the bullion banking club and how its activities in the City of London are deliberately shrouded in secrecy
  • How new competitors into the London Gold Market claim to be providing competition but are actually perpetuating the underlying unallocated gold account system of trading
For more information about the mechanics of bullion banking, please also see BullionStar Gold University article Bullion Banking Mechanics.

 
Click on the link below for the source of the above article along with an excellent infographic that provides further insight into the mechanics of manipulation. 
 
 
                                           *******************************

 

Monday, 20 February 2017

Hey Leong! - How Many Other Court Cases Besides This One Have You and Your Cronies Had Expunged?



 Dear Brenda Leong, CEO of the BC Securities Commission,


   How long will you and the rest of the staff at the BC Securities Commission continue to obstruct justice and aid and abet criminal behavior among public officials?

  Your employees made numerous false accusations against myself (Christopher Burke) and my former business partners. This in turn ensured that investors money was not protected, the exact opposite of the supposed role of the BCSC.

 Did your employees collude with our lawyers behind our backs to ensure you could charge us with something?

 Here is your case against us.
http://www.bcsc.bc.ca/News/News_Releases/2015/92_BCSC

 Of course we know all know you and gangs of lawyers will not actually take us to BC Supreme Court to finalize these charges and collect the fines you have levied on us. Why?

 Could it be because your employees are all deceptive and lie constantly?
http://bcsecuritiescommissionasham.blogspot.ca/2016/01/bc-security-commission-perjury-files.html

http://bcsecuritiescommissionasham.blogspot.ca/2016/02/why-would-bcsc-lie-about-seizing-bank.html

 Would you risk the truth coming out in Court? Even if you bought the judge?
http://bcsecuritiescommissionasham.blogspot.ca/2016/03/be-fraud-aware-5-reasons-bc-securities.html

 How many other Court cases besides this one have you and your cronies had expunged?
http://bcsecuritiescommissionasham.blogspot.ca/2017/01/what-are-you-hiding-brenda-leong-we.html

What makes you think the BC Securities Commission has the legal right to commit such actions?
http://bcsecuritiescommissionasham.blogspot.ca/2016/12/bc-securities-commission-compromised.html

Why would the BCSC claim here in its charges against us that we did not do an OM?
Did BCSC officials speak with our lawyers behind our backs to set us up?




Here is the Offering Memorandum we paid our lawyers at Farris Law for.
 


Why does this once again seem like your employees are acting with deception and manipulation?
 
 Could it be that this is Modus Operandi for the BCSC? Silly question - of course it is.

Would you murder or conspire to have murder committed to protect your racket Brenda?

What about the BCIMC? Would you cover for their crimes and stay silent as they rob British Columbians simply to ensure twenty million dollars of investments held by the BC Securities Commission make money?
http://bcsecuritiescommissionasham.blogspot.ca/2017/02/bcsc-holds-bcimc-securities-does-bcsc.html


One day soon Leong you will face justice for what you have done and allowed to continue under your watch in BC. Perhaps that day will be sooner then you think.. You thought we would go away along time ago but you were wrong..

Sincerely
Christopher Burke
250 807 7870



More on The Utter Follley Of 'Self Regulating' Financial Organizations


The following is taken from the desk of Financial Expert Larry Elford, it provides excellent insight into the culture of Self Regulation that Bankers have somehow convinced the public is a good thing for them.

                                              *******************************


Re: Self Regulation is "decriminalization", lets count the w


Postby admin » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:10 pm


In Canada, there are literally thousands of lawyers and industry mouthpieces, paid millions and millions of dollars to ensure that deception and fraud crimes of your "trusted" investment dealer and salespersons will never see a policeman or a prosecutor. Self regulation is mafia-like decriminalization…… http://iwd.paladinregistry.com/wall-str ... ment-37661

Here is a great article from a US expert who describes how it works…..something you will never see written in any Canadian media.

The mafia would love this arrangement. It gets to rob you and if it is caught your only recourse is a court that is controlled by the mafia. This sounds far-fetched, but this is the way Wall Street operates. It can sell you toxic mortgages and IF it is caught your only recourse is an arbitration process that is controlled by FINRA. In case you don’t know this, FINRA is funded by Wall Street and it is what is called an SRO (Self-Regulatory Organization). That’s right Wall Street regulates itself. The SEC goes along with it because Wall Street special interests control the politicians who control the SEC. Like I said, the mafia would love this arrangement. There is no downside, except fines, if they are caught. And, the payment of fines is a cost of doing business. See The Street’s Due-Process Joke by Jim Tague. http://online.barrons.com/articles/the-streets-due-process-joke-1422691010?mod=BOL_columnist_latest_col_art

How do they get away with it? The service agreements that you sign limit your recourse to an arbitration process that is controlled by FINRA that is controlled by Wall Street. Does this sound like a stacked deck? You bet it is and there is nothing you can do about it except not buy from their salesmen.

The bigger question is why do you let Wall Street get away with it? One simple answer is you need what they are selling – investment expertise, advice, and services. This is what you see on TV, but this is not what you get. 75% of all the financial experts who sell their products are salesmen who tell you they are experts to facilitate the sale of high and low quality investment products.

I think there is a second more basic reason. Wall Street figured out a long time ago that money is a relationship business. You tend to follow the advice of people you like because you trust people you like. You have trouble believing people you like will rip you off to make more money. Consequently, a top requirement when they recruits salesmen is a friendly personality that masks the real intent of the advisor – maximize revenue from your assets.

Why is a nice advisor such a big risk? If you are like 80% of investors you do not even read the service agreement (contract) that contains the arbitration restriction. You trust your nice, friendly financial advisor who says he will always do what is best for you. Based on assumed trustworthiness there is no reason to read an agreement that is loaded with legal and investment jargon

You better select a real financial expert you can trust. Your recourse is limited if you select the wrong advisor. And, this is just the way Wall Street wants it.

Tell Us What You Think!

Tags: financial advisor, Financial experts, investment, investors, Wall Street Jack Waymire, PaladinRegistry, Paladin Registry


About the Author


Jack Waymire worked in the financial services industry for 28 years. For 21 years he was the president and chief investment officer of a registered investment advisory firm with more than 50,000 clients. He left the industry in 2003 when his book (Who's Watching Your Money?) was published by John Wiley. That same year he launched an investor information website (http://www.PaladinRegistry.com) that was based on the principles in his book. Jack is a columnist for Worth magazine, a frequent blogger on major financial sites, and widely quoted in the media including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Bloomberg, and Kiplinger.
 
Source
 
                                             ********************************
 
 

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Civil War Inside the Deep State



 Right now inside the United States and around the globe there is a war going on inside what is known as the 'Deep State' or the 'Shadow Government'. Although this may seem unrelated to the issues regarding the BCSC these issues are actually related. The BCSC is simply a public financial tool of the 'deep state' government that really rules the West.

 As we have mentioned before any real investigation against Barrick Gold reveals that it is a major financial tool and arm of the Deep State and is involved not just in market manipulation and fraud but likley false flag terror attacks.
http://bcsecuritiescommissionasham.blogspot.ca/2017/01/911-funding-bronfman-family-barrick.html

and
http://bcsecuritiescommissionasham.blogspot.ca/2017/01/more-on-barricks-barricudas-stephen.html

and
http://bcsecuritiescommissionasham.blogspot.ca/2017/01/does-bc-securities-commission-and-other.html

 Regulators such as the BCSC and the OSC are aware of the actions of companies that are tools of the Deep State such as Barrick Gold, at the very least they are aware of the mass financial fraud.

 Instead of doing their jobs they have chosen to let the fraud continue.

See below link to an interesting article regarding the war inside the Deep State, a possible precursor to Civil War in the US.
http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/a-civil-war-for-control-of-the-u-s-government-has-erupted-between-the-deep-state-and-donald-trump

                   

Thursday, 16 February 2017


Barrick admits it hides behind immunity of Central Banks in Court, all the way back in 2003!

 See below exert from the following source
http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/25/065.html

                                                          **********************

Bush’s Barrick Corps drops bombshell

From Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA), Tuesday 10 June 2003, 1:19a ET

(one more piece of evidence. It can hardly be denied any more that the dollar exchange rate control mechanism, the magic invoked behind the scenes when the US talks up the dollar, has been the suppression of the price of gold by essentially short-selling massive quantities of central bank gold. The world economy is in deep doodoo)
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
Barrick Gold has confessed that it and its bullion banker, JP Morgan Chase & Co., are the direct agents of the central banks in the international control of the gold price.
Barrick’s confession was filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans as part of a legal maneuver to gain dismissal of the federal anti-trust lawsuit brought against it and Morgan Chase by Blanchard& Co., the New Orleans-based coin and bullion dealer. Barrick moved to dismiss the Blanchard lawsuit on the grounds that the suit had failed to include as defendants some indispensable parties whose vital interests are at stake, the central banks; that the central banks, having what is called sovereign immunity against suit, simply could not be included in the suit; and that the suit therefore had to be dismissed.
Barrick’s confessional motion was dated February 28 this year and is posted at the Barrick Internet site here, headlined Memorandum in support of motion to dismiss for failure to join indispensable parties:
http://www.barrick.com/2_Press_Releases/

GATA has copied the memorandum and posted it at GATA Chairman Bill Murphy’s Internet site for some permanence in case Barrick removes it from the company’s own Internet site. GATA’s copy of the memorandum is posted here:
http://www.lemetropolecafe.com/img2003/memoformotiontodis.pdf

Fortunately, the judge hearing the Blanchard lawsuit, Helen G. Berrigan, denied Barrick’s motion two weeks ago after an exchange in open court with one of the company’s many lawyers, Mark D. Wegener. That exchange is appended here. The judge concluded that Barrick’s motion to dismiss argued in effect that an illegal action involving so many powerful entities from all around the world is going to be immune from being challenged.
That’s, as we say, not acceptable, Judge Berrigan said, denying Barrick’s dismissal motion.
Barrick and Morgan still have other dimissal motions pending and much remains to be done before they can be held fully accountable for themselves in court and compelled to produce evidence and testimony.
But it is thrilling that Judge Berrigan has indicated that she will not be intimidated by all the (fiat) money and power in the world, and thrilling that one of the issues on which GATA consultant Reg Howe’s trail-blazing federal lawsuit against the same conspiracy foundered—sovereign immunity—has been removed as an obstacle in the Blanchard case because of the much smaller number of defendants.
Building on the Howe case, the Blanchard case has an ever-improving chance of bringing transparency and honesty to the gold market and to national economic policy generally. GATA supports the Blanchard suit and urges its friends to inform the mining industry about the suit’s encouraging progress.
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

From oral argument in
Blanchard & Co. et al
v.
Barrick Gold Corp.
and JP Morgan Chase & Co.
U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of Louisiana
Judge Helen G. Berrigan, presiding

May 29, 2003
 
The Court: How would those contracts be challenged, under your theory that everybody has to be involved? Because, how do you get jurisdiction over everybody?

Mr. Wegener: You can’t.

The Court: So you all can just tally-ho and do anti-competitive stuff? ... So the idea is, if you get enough people involved in a monopoly, then you’re immune from litigation?

Mr. Wegener: Well, I don’t think it’s quite that. ...
The Court: And you’re saying it’s not possible to bring everybody in?

Mr. Wegener: Yeah, I think you can’t bring the central banks in, because they’re immune. You can’t bring in all the bullion banks, because they’re beyond the jurisdiction of the court. ...

The Court: I mean, if what you say is correct, then it sounds like the legal remedy is for individual plaintiffs, like, say, Blanchard, to go to the United States court, like he’s done here, and go after J.P. Morgan. And then wherever these other entities are, to go to those courts, in those countries, in those locales, and try to seek the same relief. ... But I’m very much troubled by the end result of your argument, which is to the effect that if an outfit is large enough and involves enough people, enough entities, then they can kind of do what they want. .. But I just don’t find it possible to think that something could—if, in fact there is an anti-trust violation going on here—that because it involves so many powerful entities from all around the world, therefore it’s going to be immune from being challenged. That’s, as we say, not acceptable.

Mr. Wegener: Uh-huh.

The Court: If that’s the logical result of your argument, then I’m going to have to find some other way to deal with it than that.
Judge Berrigan denied Barrick’s motion to dismiss.

Court Document Source -
http://www.gata.org/files/BarrickConfessionMotionToDismiss.pdf

                                                *************************

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

INDUSTRY REGULATOR = SELLING OUT THE PUBLIC





 The following post is a look at serious questions regarding the IIROC, the regulatory body for the Investment Dealer industry. Akin to the BCSC the IIROC is as corrupt as they come and simply covers for a wide range of financial crimes. So far the conversation is a one way street, no IIROC official will reply and answer to the public for the crimes being committed under their watch.

 The following is from the desk of Alan Blanes, Esteemed Alumni of the University of the Fraser Valley, Financial rights Activist and member of the Council Of Canadians.

 Some names have been withheld for privacy concerns.

Thanks very much for this,                 , and for making it possible to reply to the group;
I would like to ask Mr. Kriegler why IIROC continues to provide no argument - only silence - when asked to support the fact that Canaccord Capital has a duty to compensate victims of breach of contract [my dad has 2 judgements against Canaccord for this, that were rendered in 2013.] 2013 was also the year that Canaccord was convicted of failing to supervise their Kelowna and Montreal offices from 2005 to 2011 - by a decision of IIROC. Clearly the legal actions that Harold Blanes prosecuted against IIROC, would have been unnecessary, if good faith supervision had been provided to his portfolio. He wants the remaining $23,000 that the court was not able to award due to court rules, and the legal fees that amounted to $51,000. If IIROC genuinely has a concern for the public interest, it would act in accordance with its finding of failure to supervise as a unacceptable practice, that created severe harm to elderly clients - who were betrayed by an organization that they were led to believe acted in good faith toward clients. My argument is that legal expenses that were incurred due to this admitted failure to supervise, would likely never have been necessary if proper supervision were in place. IIROC has a serious obligation on this matter, due to the IDA complaint that Harold Blanes filed on this problem November 3, 2007- that was fully documented was dismissively disregarded. If  IIROC, nee IDA, had done its duty at that time, the people who were abused by the failure to supervise - continuing up to 2011 - would have likely been protected. IIROC's policy of disregard had a big price to victims.
Mr. Kriegler also has to be asked, until IIROC's ignoring act wears off, why IIROC would disregard the fact that Investors Group was masquerading as a GIC provider from 2005 until February of 2014 when it was reinstated as an issuer of GICs by the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. Why does IIROC consider the evidence of false advertising for GICs that is documented in the FALL 2009 edition of the Investors Group publication CONNECTIONS, failing to elicit even a discussion, - let alone any attempt to enforce rules against falsely claiming that GICs are available from this firm.
Why does IIROC continue to provide impunity for a company that the evidence demonstrates, contracted for GICs with Harold Blanes on March 15, 2007, yet for five years accused this client of having a faulty memory and shows signs of Alzheimer's disease. The false and predatory actions of Investors Group extended to telling the Kelowna RCMP that the client has a faulty memory and this caused the RCMP to unjustly fail to return any of his phone calls for approximately five years. I put the blame squarely on IIROC for having a policy of impunity on this matter - that created extreme torment to this client ---- and it appears that IIROC has no clue as to the human suffering that the indulgence of dishonesty in the industry imposes on the most elderly clients of such companies - who require authentic protection, not being sacrificed for short term profit.
Cordially,
Alan Blanes
Kelowna 
 
 Further on the subject presented to Mr. Kriegler (among others) at the IIROC, pressing questions from an author who shall for the time remain anonymous.
 
Sent: Monday, January 30, 2017 9:52 AM
To: akriegler@iiroc.ca
Subject: What IIROC criteria constitutes violations of investment suitability requirements ?
 
Dear Mr Kriegler
 
Kindly refer to the below link to the October 31st 2016 IIROC News Release entitled, "Unsuitable Investments top Investor complaints, IIROC statistics show"
 
 
Your personal comments in the IIROC News Release emphasized an awareness of the extent of the violations of investments suitability requirements.
 
The News Release states that over a 2-year period, IIROC reports that 26% (222) of 838 investor complaints were determined by IIROC to be violations of suitability requirements.   The News Release also states that the majority of these cases involved elderly and/or vulnerable clients.   It also states that almost 50% of the prosecutions against individual registrants involved unsuitable investments violations.
 
I, along with other concerned retirees and elderly and/or vulnerable clients, would appreciate your answers to the below questions, namely -
 
Q1. Would you kindly supply a list of the criteria IIROC uses in defining these violations of
        suitability requirements ?     
 
Q2. What is the exact number of prosecutions for violations of investment suitability
        requirements related to complaints from elderly and/or vulnerable clients ?   This is
        important as IIROC reports that the majority of the suitability violation cases involved   
       elderly and/or vulnerable clients.
 
Q3. There is no mention in the IIROC News Release of the number of Investment Dealers who
        employed these registrants involved in the 222 IIROC determined violations of investment
        suitability requirements cases.   These Investment Dealers must be just as guilty because
        they were supposed to be supervising the Financial "Advisor" employees.  
        How many Investment Dealers were involved in these 222 cases ?
 
Your detailed response to this request would be appreciated.
 
Regards
               
 
 
More on the same subject, further questions for the head of the IIROC,
 
Sent: Friday, February 03, 2017 10:45 AM
To: akriegler@iiroc.ca
                                    

Subject: FW: #2 What IIROC criteria constitutes violations of investment suitability requirements ?
 
Dear Mr Kriegler,
Shortly after you took the reins at IIROC, you had an interview with Barbara Shecter of the National Post, which was reported in their May 6th 2015 issue.   In the interview you said that you were impressed by the culture you found at IIROC that compared well with what you previously experienced at the OSFI.    In the article, you are reported to have said, "There's a sense within both organizations that people there are doing important work on behalf of the public".   You are also reported to have said that, "IIROC is guided by recognition orders from provincial securities commissions that compel it to act in the public interest, which goes far beyond industry concerns or preferences".
 
Here is the National Post article -
 
Your philosophical perspective of what drives the IIROC operations is to be commended.  However, there is a great anomaly between the IIROC philosophical culture as you see it and the real life experiences of investors when trying to get straight forward answers to straight forward questions from IIROC, taking into account the actual IIROC practices.   
 
You say that IIROC is compelled to act in the public interest.    As you say this is a mandated obligation of IIROC, it would be helpful for IIROC to respond with answers to questions that are in the public's interest, when they are asked.   Instead, the requests to IIROC are responded with either Tour de France explanations with no answers to the questions or are completely ignored and go unanswered.   
 
It seems that certain members of your staff have been instructed to ignore my communication for fear of opening up the barn door.  Well, the barn door is now open.
 
In this connection, would you kindly respond with an answer to the below #1 question I asked of you which reads,  Q1. Would you kindly supply a list of the criteria IIROC uses when defining the violations of suitability requirements ?
 
As the other two below listed questions to you are also in the public interest, answers to those questions would also be appreciated.
 
After providing the requested information, you might also ask Ms Farrell to provide answers to the three questions I asked of her in my December 16th 2016 letter that she has ignored and has not responded to.   Those questions relate to IIROC using statistics to inform the public of the details in the IIROC handling of investor complaints.   However, those quoted statistics used do not disclose how few of the IIROC registered complaints related to violations of suitability requirements came directly from Investment Dealers via the ComSet reporting process and how many came directly to IIROC from aggrieved investors.  In other words, just how many investment Dealers admitted to the investor complaints related to violations of suitability requirements.   Ms Farrell has also ignored repeated requests for answers.
 
After that you may want to speak to Mr Piroli and ask him to respond to my January 18th 2017 email requesting he come forward with the names of the "groups", including "investor advocacy groups", that IIROC claimed they consulted in connection with their "IIROC Guidance on proposed Order Execution Only Services and Activities (OEO)".    Without these names being divulged, one has to question the veracity of the IIROC published claims.   Again, repeated requests to Mr Piroli have been ignored.
 
All of these requests clearly fall under your definition of compelling IIROC "to act in the public interest, which goes far beyond industry concerns or preferences".
 
I would hope that my request to you gets a better treatment.
 
Regards
                      
 
 
Its time for our public officials to be held accountable to the rule of law.
 
 
 

Sunday, 12 February 2017

BARRICK AND THE PMO's OFFICE - 2013 PARLIAMENTARY REPORT


Report to Parliament on Lobbying and Conflict of Interest in the PMO's office 2013, from  Mr Charlie Angus of the NDP (Timmins, James Bay)

 41st Parliament, 1st Session. May 28, 2013.

 An interesting tidbit that sheds light on who Barrick calls in the PMO's office to clean-up their mess.

                                             *********************************


                                                         Committees of the House
                                                       Procedure and House Affairs
          
Mr. Joe Preston - (Eglin Middlesex-London CPC)
Mr. Speaker, if the House gives its consent, I move that the 56th report of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, presented to the House earlier today, be concurred in.  

 

Mr. Charlie Angus - (Timmins-James Bay NDP)

Mr. Speaker, I move that the third report of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, presented to the House on Monday, May 14, 2012, be concurred in.
    I want to first say what an honour it is to rise again in this great chamber on behalf of the people of Timmins—James Bay. I would like to thank the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, particularly the excellent chair, the member for Sherbrooke, on the report regarding the changes to the Lobbying Act. This is work that was badly needed. On the whole, it was not too much of a partisan fight because we all, as parliamentarians, have a fundamental responsibility to ensure that the secret back doors for lobbyists are closed.
    Unfortunately, the issue of back-door lobbying does, however, remain a major problem with the government. I want to say at the beginning that we are not talking about honest lobbyists who meet with members of Parliament, because it is their job to begin and facilitate discussions on issues. There is nothing wrong with that. It is about the use of backroom access, the whole issue of who one knows in the PMO. These are issues we have to root out if there is going to be confidence that Parliament and government work for the people and not just for the insiders. Unfortunately, there have been numerous examples under the government, once again, where it is who one knows in the PMO.
    In terms of what was studied under the Lobbying Act, there are a number of examples that are very concerning. I would like to raise a few of them as we look through the recommendations in the report. Certainly, one of the most disturbing is the role of Bruce Carson, who is now up on criminal charges for influence peddling. On June 27, 2012, Mr. Bruce Carson was charged by the RCMP on one count of influence peddling for his role in illegal lobbying through his friends in the Conservative Party.
    The disturbing thing about Bruce Carson is that this is a man with a history of fraud convictions. This is a man who had already been convicted as a criminal and yet the Prime Minister invited him into his office as his most senior adviser. We see the ethics problems swirling around the Prime Minister and his judgment problems with supporting people like Patrick Brazeau, despite the numerous red flags that came up, telling us that Pamela Wallin's expense claims were perfectly acceptable, that he had personally seen them, and now she has had to resign in disgrace, as well as telling us that Mike Duffy showed real leadership in using the illegal cheque he received for $90,000.
    There are certainly questions about the judgment of the Prime Minister, but this goes back to the question of Bruce Carson, who was brought into the Prime Minister's Office as a senior adviser even though he had been convicted of fraud. Then Bruce Carson used that position as an insider to the Prime Minister to set up an illegal lobbying scheme with his young fiancée, Michele McPherson. Their scheme was that she was representing a clean water plan. We need clean water on reserves, but there is something very tawdry about the idea that these insiders were going to cash in on the need of desperately poor first nations for clean water.
    Mr. Carson used his influence as an insider friend of the Prime Minister, so that when the former top chief adviser to the Prime Minister started making calls to people, they answered the calls. That is the difference between illegal lobbying versus legal lobbying, and it is one of the loopholes we tried to close. Under the Lobbying Act now, there is a certain threshold before people have to report their lobbying activities. I believe it is 25% of their time. If less than 25% of their time is spent lobbying, then they do not have to report it. When someone is an insider, all he or she needs to do is make a call. He or she does not have to spend 40 hours a week banging on doors, like all the run-of-the-mill lobbyists with their suitcases and PowerPoint presentations. All an insider has to do is make a call. That is the loophole we were trying to close.
    Mr. Bruce Carson, convicted fraud artist and personal friend of the Prime Minister, got into the Prime Minister's Office. How did he get past the Privy Council or anybody around the Prime Minister? It should have sounded alarm bells. Fraudsters should not be put in the position of having the ear of the Prime Minister. Then he stepped out. Once again, it is the issue of the revolving door, which we have tried to close as the lobbying loophole, so that people cannot just step outside and then call back in to their former pals inside. The closing of the revolving door is an important recommendation that we put forward to make sure that door stays closed, but it did not stay closed in the case of Bruce Carson.

He and his girlfriend tried to cash in through their friends in Indian Affairs. They were trying to call the former Indian Affairs minister to say, “Hey, we have a deal for you.” What was at stake was over $250 million, so they would have made a cool $25 million. There is no real incentive for this illegal lobbyist to cough up.
     This was another recommendation that the New Democrats brought forward and that the Conservatives opposed. We feel it is really important that the lobbying commissioner have the authority to be able to charge fines to those who do not follow the rules.
     This is not to say that she is going to be going after all the honest lobbyists who are doing their run-of-the-mill jobs. It is about the illegal lobbyists. If they stand to make $25 million, why would they come forward? This was all going to be done under the table. The Bruce Carson issue is certainly very disturbing.
    Another really concerning issue in terms of insider influence in lobbying is Mr. Nigel Wright, the now-disgraced adviser to the Prime Minister. We have Bruce Carson, convicted fraud artist, key adviser to the Prime Minister. He was involved, and now he is up on influence peddling charges. Now we have Mr. Nigel Wright, the other key adviser to the Prime Minister who is involved in his own ethical problems with lobbying.
    It is really important to look at this in terms of what has happened with Mr. Nigel Wright now. Mr. Nigel Wright is very well known in the business community, and that is perfectly fair. He is extremely close to Barrick Gold, extremely close to Barrick founder Peter Munk and a very close friend of Anthony Munk, his son.
    Mr. Wright worked with Anthony Munk on Onex Corporation, the private equity investment giant. He took a leave of absence from that portfolio to go and work for the Prime Minister.
    He was also on the board of directors of the Aurea Foundation, a charitable foundation set up by Peter Munk. Peter Munk has said that he would rank Nigel Wright among the mere handful of people he has met in whom he has complete trust. Have I also mentioned that he is the godfather to Anthony Munk's son? This guy is like family.
    The Conservatives were telling us that Nigel Wright is as straight as they come in terms of ethics and that we would never have to worry about Nigel Wright. In April 2012, our Prime Minister was down in South America. He was at the Summit of the Americas in Colombia in mid-April. Our Prime Minister, of course, likes to decide that he is a mini-Maggie Thatcher sometimes, so he stepped out at this conference and started shooting his mouth off about the Malvinas.
    One has to wonder what the Prime Minister was thinking, going down to South America and deciding that he was going to start to wave Maggie Thatcher's legacy on the Falkland-Malvinas situation. He upset the Argentinians terribly. The Argentinians were very upset, and the president of Argentina asked herself what she was even doing there, listening to this guy. Then she left and started putting the screws to Canadian businesses in Argentina as a result of our Prime Minister, “Mr. I-know-everything-about-the-world, but I do not have any of the power to back it up”.
    One of the screws they started to put was to Barrick, which had a multi-billion-dollar gold operation that it was trying to get off the ground in Argentina. However, thanks to our Prime Minister and his decision to be a mini-Union Jack, Argentina was putting the screws to Barrick.
    What did the Barrick people do? They called Nigel Wright. They called right into the Prime Minister's Office, because they knew Nigel Wright.
    The Lobbying Act and the conflict of interest guidelines are really clear. No one is supposed to be able to just call their insider friends and say, “Fix it”. Barrick called, not once, not twice, but three times. There was a meeting set up. There were phone calls made. Nigel Wright was the point person, the man who is the godfather to Peter Munk's grandson, the man whom Peter Munk said he trusts, out of a mere handful of people in whom he has complete trust.
    Nigel Wright was playing this role of friend of the Munks, friend of Barrick Gold and insider to the Prime Minister. That is not the way ethical government is supposed to run. This is a government that promised government was not going to be run on who people know in the PMO.
    If the alarm bells had gone off at that time, we might not be in the trouble we are in now with Mr. Wright, who may have written an illegal $90,000 cheque that contravenes the Parliament of Canada Act.
   Under the Parliament of Canada Act, anyone who offers compensation to a senator in a controversy before the Senate has committed an indictable offence. We are talking about a crime being committed out of the Prime Minister's Office.
 
    We have a former criminal, Mr. Bruce Carson, who was in the Prime Minister's Office. We have Mr. Nigel Wright. Alarm bells should have been going off because of his role with Barrick and his insider influence in the Prime Minister's Office. Now we have found out that he has written a secret cheque to cover off a political scandal. Why was that cheque written? Senator Tkachuk said that the political scandal was hurting the Prime Minister, so once again Nigel Wright started to make calls. Instead of receiving the calls, he was making the calls. He was making the calls to the Senate, which is completely inappropriate.
 
    I have never had a lot of respect for what happens in the Senate, but the one thing I do respect is the separation of powers. However, we see that it is the Prime Minister's right hand calling the Senate to find out how they are going to shut down this problem. Senator Tkachuk dutifully changed an in camera report to protect Mike Duffy, and Nigel Wright cut the $90,000 secret cheque.
 
    We have been looking at the issue of gifts under the Lobbying Act and Conflict of Interest Act guidelines. The Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner is actually saying that we need to drop the level of gifts to $50. Of course, the Conservatives are hacking and coughing, because they are going to receive only $50 gifts. What an outrage. The Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner and the Commissioner of Lobbying have spoken about the issue of gifts and the influence gifts have.
 
    When the Commissioner of Lobbying talks about gifts, I am sure she is thinking about box tickets to the Rogers Centre, like our friend from the St. Catharines area received, or perhaps an expensive bottle of wine. No one is thinking about $90,000 even coming close to being a gift. In most places, $90,000 would seem like a bribe. It is pretty staggering that the Conservatives would consider $90,000 a gift.
 
    Under the Lobbying Act and the Conflict of Interest Act, there are clear rules about accepting gifts. Gifts have to be reported. This is the other interesting thing that needs to be addressed. Mike Duffy pocketed the $90,000 and apparently told the Senate, “Do not worry. I went to the bank and got a loan”. If this were perfectly on the up and up, why would he not just say that he called his friend Nigel Wright? This man is a paragon of virtue. He wants to help the poor downtrodden trough-eaters. If one is on the streets and is one of those senators who has not been able to get the latest bottle of champagne, here is Nigel Wright who walks along and says, “Do not worry, because at my table, a place is set for you, and here is your $90,000”.
 
    If Nigel Wright were doing that as his sense of public duty, the Conservatives would be crowing about it. These are not people who are quiet. No, that did not happen.
 
    This is again an issue under the Lobbying and Conflict of Interest Acts, because gifts have to be reported. They pretended on the government side all last week that this was a gift and an attempt to be ethical. I thought I heard the word “heroic” used. That was some heroic gift. A $90,000 secret payout was somehow heroic for the Conservatives. It was honourable, heroic and ethical, and now it is “disappointing”.
 
     If one reads the Conflict of Interest Act or the Lobbying Act, it is not disappointing to cut secret $90,000 cheques; it is illegal. There are reasons it is illegal to pay off politicians. There is a reason rules are put in place.
 
    There are numerous other examples from the government showing why we need to clarify the Lobbying Act. This is interesting. We have studied the Lobbying Act and the Conflict of Interest guidelines, because there are actually two different sets of rules. There are the rules that cover the lobbyists, and those who are lobbied have a different set of rules.
 
    The present Minister of Labour was in a little foofaraw of her own when a number of lobbyists started selling tickets for her fundraiser. These are major ethical issues. It is not as though lobbyists just showed up at her fundraiser, because that happens when a fundraiser is held and people buy tickets. Everyone cannot be screened. However, lobbyists were taking her tickets and selling them. Of course, these guys were in the cement industry, and they thought this was a good way to curry some favour with the minister.
 The Commissioner of Lobbying found that these three lobbyists had breached the act. Karen Shepherd said that in the three cases, the lobbyists were in breach of the Lobbyists' Code of Conduct. She concluded that Bruce Rawson did not register lobbying activity on behalf of two clients. The commissioner found that Will Stewart and Mike McSweeney created an apparent conflict of interest by conducting fundraising activities for a federal cabinet minister whose department they were lobbying.
 
    Our present minister is the one who was hiding in a sleeping bag. When they invited him out to a major weekend to discuss major deals, he went off and slept in his sleeping bag. I was thinking that he must have been the only guy who ever went to that mansion and brought a sleeping bag. However, that was his line. We were supposed to fall for that. He was in his sleeping bag. He was not being lobbied.
 
     Karen Shepherd found that these guys were selling tickets to her political fundraiser. I am sorry. They cannot walk around saying, “Hi. We are friends of the minister. Will you give us 250 bucks?” and then go to the minister and say, “Listen. We sold all these tickets for you. Things should be cool. Let us sit down and maybe talk about our plan”.
 
    We have rules about that. Canadians are fed up with this kind of backroom buddy system that has fed and nurtured the Conservative Party for so long.
 
    The interesting thing is that these two men were found to be in breach of the Lobbying Act, yet the minister was under the conflict of interest guidelines, and she was cleared.
 
    If I am the lobbyist who sold tickets to her fundraiser and was smacked, I would think, “Wait a minute. I sold the tickets for her. She collected the money. She is in the clear. I am not. Why is that?” I am sure the folks back home are wondering the same thing. It is because we have different rules for ministers than we have for lobbyists. Under the rules for ministers, she did not personally benefit. They did not buy her a car; they paid for her political fundraising.
 
    Now, the lobbying commissioner has been very clear. There are problems with this view, because there is the issue of apparent conflict of interest. The government likes just the words “conflict of interest”.
 
    The issue of apparent conflict of interest is very important. What we are talking about is that because she did not exactly personally gain from the fact that her riding association was raising money to get her re-elected, the Conflict of Interest Commissioner said that she did not know if she exactly received a benefit. That leaves me scratching my head. Politics is about political favours being paid at these fundraisers. The lobbying commissioner was really clear that the minister was receiving a benefit.
 
    As New Democrats, we have asked the government to work with us to clear up this loophole. Let us ensure that we have a clear set of rules so that the issue of “apparent” is added to the guidelines for conflict of interest. Ministers would be responsible if people were selling tickets to their fundraisers. That is the issue.
 
    We are not going to do “gotcha” moments and go back over their fundraising lists. Certain people do pay in. Sometimes it is rather sketchy. They were selling the tickets.
 
    We see the difference in the government now. When it came in in 2005-2006, I remember the present foreign affairs minister saying that they were going to shine the light into the dark places. He said that one day when I was asking him questions about the infamous Bev Oda.
 
    Now, Bev Oda crossed as many lines as one could cross. The very first line Bev Oda crossed was before she was the heritage minister. At that time, major reviews were going on before the CRTC. Some of her friends in the broadcast industry held a fundraiser for her in their office. They held the fundraiser. They sold the tickets, and she collected the money. The present Minister of Foreign Affairs made her give the money back. That was the Conservatives in 2006. He said that they were going to shine the light into the dark places.
 
    Going forward to 2013, we do not ever hear about them shining lights anywhere anymore. In fact, they are systematically taking the light bulbs out of Ottawa and making this place as dark as it can be. Folks watching from back home are going to see that our Prime Minister has been skipping out, hiding out, refusing to answer questions on Nigel Wright. Nigel Wright has gone for the high jump. One has to run after him at four in the morning to try to get him while he is jogging to get an honest answer, and we still are not getting an answer.
 
    They are taking the light bulbs out, when they promised to shine a light on the darkness in their activities. This is why the New Democrats have pushed the issue of lobbying and conflict of interest.

 
 
 
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