September 24, 2006

Sept. 24, 2006: Banking & IMET ...

Investigating Fraud and Document Retrieval, among other difficulties ...

Banking battlefield -- Toronto-Dominion's TD Banknorth faces fierce, profit-eating competition with its incursion into the wealthy heart of the U.S. Northeast, Duncan Mavin, Financial Post, September 23, 2006

[....] Mark Wetmiller is chief retail banking officer at TD Banknorth. On his office wall in Portland, Me., a map shows the bank's "footprint" stretching from the border with Quebec and New Brunswick down past New York City. It is littered with dots locating TD Banknorth's almost 600 branches, and it's also divided into colour-coded regions, with labels "acquire," "hold" or "grow," indicating the bank's strategy in each area. [....]

Large global players such as Citibank and HSBC, as well as regionals including Commerce Bank, are eyeing the same wealthy counties in Connecticut and other New England states as Banknorth. [....]

The bank has also got its hands on US$25-million from parent TD for a marketing campaign to promote the bank's brand. On the highways that circle commuter-land around New York City, billboards proclaim in TD green and black the new "Bank Freely" strategy, in which the bank is offering a no-fee ATM card to customers in some areas. It is aimed at providing the convenience of a much larger branch network for customers who, for instance, live in the commuter-belt but work in downtown Manhattan, where the bank has almost no presence. [....]

Maybe this is one of the reasons banking fees are much too high ... advertising ... global growth.

Check, Posted by gatordave on Friday, March 17, 2006 - 11:46 pm:

How do readers suppose this expose' impacts on the RCMP's so-called investigation of pyramid fraud when their own officers, OPP. and their families, corrupt politicians, corrupt lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, members of the BBB, Chambers of Commerce, service clubs etc., etc., are participating in?

Now, not only are they participating in these frauds they are taking this easily recognized fraud into the Dorset Park Baptist Church - 1428 Kennedy Rd. - Scarborough Ont. March 18, 2006, and the likes of the Knights of Columbus Hall 110 Manitou Dr Kitchener Ont. and the Army Navy Club Barrie Ont.

The authorities refuse to even warn the public of these obvious frauds. [....]

This inherent fraud, a clone of the infamous Women Empowering Women pyramid that swept the world and that many, many corrupt politicians, OPP, their families, school board officials, BBB, Chamber of Commerce members etc., etc., is being continually recycled in Canada`unabated, year after year, after year, unopposed by police, MPP’s, MP’s, Senators, Attorneys General in Canada or even, ministers of the church, and the list goes on.

[.... In another post further down the webpage: Posted on Saturday, March 18, 2006 - 12:13 am:]

And these crooks operate with impunity while our national banks are "laundering" billions - the proceeds from these "white collar" criminals under the watchful eye of the Ontario Securities Commission, MacKenzie Institute and other organizations that tout they exist to futher a better society!!!

dave 905-963-3389

Maybe he's an investor who lost. Maybe he knows something you should check. Maybe he's just outraged at all this, but read on.

Memory Lane: early 2006

Introduction and background: The main article follows it.

Who was it that said "You'll know you've arrived when you have the home telephone numbers of your lawyer and your personal accountant?" Well ... read on but, before you start, remember:

* The Integrated Market Enforcement Teams (IMET) were set up in 2003 as time's winged chariots were catching up to some corruptos in Canada--think ADSCAM, Gomery, and all the other investigations yet to come. The righteous charioteers were flicking their whips and breathing hellfire and damnation too close to some very important people ... people who had every reason to hope that IMET wouldn't be too effective ... but the optics would sound so righteous ... so virtuous ... so ... getting to the bottom of ... but then, maybe petering out ... lacking the will to make it succeed ... the funding, genuine supportive co-operation, time and highly skilled manpower. (Where did that $2 to $3-billion gun registry money go? ....... Surely, it was not meant to .... Ah, read on and decide for yourself.)

* The cases require much time and involve hours of investigative complexity, requiring the expertise of highly accomplished specialists in, for example, corporate accounting--investigators schooled in high level finance and its byways, those who understand the scope for ... well, creative accounting, mergers and acquisitions .... (Those trained people are expensive! That's one more reason why we hewers of wood and drawers of swamp water don't get rich too.)

* The Liberal governments allowed the human resources of the RCMP to be decimated by 2,500 - 3,000 officers over the last few years, even, for example, closing 9 RCMP detachments, moving them away from border areas in Quebec where they were most needed. Do you think that was the only group of RCMP investigators hobbled? Those with power, those (few?) involved know which investigations and which officers to target ... for failure (if they did that -- but just ask Cpl. Reid or Staff Sgt. Stenhouse ... then talk to Joanna Gaultieri, Brian McAdam, Allan Cutler, Laurent Beaudoin of the Business Development Bank and other whistleblowers ... and think some more.).

* Consider who were responsible for appointments and hiring over many years and whether the incumbents, then, would tend to act or make decisions from a political point of view:

* in justice and the courts, agencies and foundation, etc.

* in the bureaucracies, whether of the companies involved or of the federal civil service (Who do you think look for and find requested documents that may not appear readily?)

* even in the RCMP itself -- Note that a key IMET operative had to leave his major work in a new branch ... to meet language legislation requirements ... "The national director of IMET, Superintendent John Sliter, has been on a six-month language training course" -- The languages tzar's department strikes again.

* Consider that all the above hiring and appointing were done by a government found to have been corrupt; yet all the investigations are not yet complete.

* Consider that there is tremendous co-operation between high level networks and other networks not as elite, between those who know how the accounting game is played and those--the dregs and drogues--who happen to get caught at the lower levels ... Even criminals need accountants, particularly necessary for the heads of criminal gangs and triads.

* Additionally, Canada has been importing some rather suspect immigrants/refugees--known criminal gang members--to Canada for years. Just ask ex-RCMP Cpl. Robert Read and ex-Foreign Affairs Officer Brian McAdam (Hong Kong investigation). There has been co-operation between new gangs and the local gangs; ask ex-RCMP Staff Sgt. Stenhouse (Hells Angels expert) and there are probably more.

* Globalization of banking --You may notice business articles on international banking coming to the fore, that nation based banks are inadequate ... global banking ... easy movement of funds for big deals ... or for whatever nefarious schemes human beings can imagine. (Remember: Whistleblower Laurent Beaudoin of Canada's BDC lost his top position at the bank during Jean Chretien's mandate ... And here is the best part, because Beaudoin would not guarantee a further $600,000+ to Chretien's buddy--wanted by Belgian police on business fraud--who ran the Auberges Grand Mere next to Chretien's golf course, Beaudoin was turfed. Later, while the friend of the ex-PM was still under inditement, his Auberges was torched by arsonists ... who were never caught, if memory serves. If a man like this is the Prime Minister's buddy, how would the RCMP fare if they pursued that too far? Beaudoin might be source of a fund of information, if he were asked.)

* Remember Bre-X -- salted gold samples, an international mining and stock fraud case, one of the biggest stock frauds in Canadian history. Yet, one of the principals, Walsh, died a natural death; Felderhof was or is living in luxury in the Caymans; de Guzman may or may not have committed suicide in Indonesia but he has been spotted by a reliable source in Brazil (home of the great train robber, Ronald Biggs, until he got old and homesick). However, the RCMP closed the file on this case two years ago. Why? Were political pressures brought to bear or is it impossible to protect investors in Canada now?

Which political party/parties would be hardest hit if any hanky panky were discovered? ... The power to appoint and the refusal of the Opposition, even now, to allow effective whistleblower legislation which would protect those who could help IMET and justice, is a recipe for IMET failure and a judicial disaster for the citizenry of Canada.

How would you like to be a member of IMET with all the above? Who's been salting the RCMP? (if it has been salted, of course)

But read on, and decide for yourself:

* whether IMET actually has been a failure or simply needs more time and personnel,

* whether it was set up with enough encumbrances to fail ... intended to fail, or

* whether it might be to the advantage of some people and the media to report that it has been a failure ... which may be the case ... politics ... Think about it.

Tensions build in market crime unit -- RCMP's IMET hit by senior staff defection; no charges yet laid in prominent cases ,, Thursday, March 16, 2006, Janet McFarland, Paul waldie, Karen Howlett

The RCMP's highly touted securities crime investigation unit has been hit with recent senior staff departures and rising internal tensions, ....

... created the Integrated Market Enforcement Teams (IMET) in 2003 ... white-collar crimes.... has not yet laid charges in any of the prominent cases it has tackled.

... problems between the RCMP and the federal Department of Justice in the Royal Group Technologies Ltd. investigation involving former Ontario finance minister Greg Sorbara.

[....] Royal Group, Nortel Networks Corp., Portus Alternative Asset Management Inc., Norbourg Asset Management Inc. and Norshield Financial Group. It is also responsible for the investigation of the politically charged allegations of leaked information about federal income trust tax changes.

But despite its high public profile in business circles -- bolstered by a dramatic raid last year of the head office of Bank of Nova Scotia as part of the Royal Group investigation -- IMET teams in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal have so far announced charges in only two cases. [....]

[....] But Insp. Buzza said it has been difficult to meet that time limit because its investigations have proven so complex, and because of the slow pace of document retrievals.

[....] shareholder lawsuit against Nortel [....]

Insp. Buzza said the IMET teams will no longer report to the RCMP's national office, but will instead report to their local provincial RCMP headquarters. [.... Will that make them more responsive to local political pressure? ]

... unexpected departures of senior staff members, including the heads of the Toronto and Vancouver units.

... difficulties with its touted co-operative model .... intended to allow police, regulators and the federal Justice Department to work together on investigations.
... hit snags, ... the Royal Group case.

Last week, Mr. Sorbara applied in the Ontario Superior Court to have his name removed from search warrants implicating him in the Royal Group probe. His lawyer, Rod McLeod, [.... What was the outcome?]

[...] There have also been reports of tension between the IMET and Quebec's securities regulator over their approaches to the Norbourg investigation.

Key departures [...]

Craig Hannaford

The head of the Toronto Integrated Market Enforcement Teams (IMET) unit and a key investigator in the Royal Group Technologies Ltd. case .... retired .... setting up a consulting business. ... "He was the one guy really driving it," he said.

Mel Young

[...] a promotion to the RCMP's Ontario headquarters.

Bill Majcher

Meanwhile, the head of the Vancouver IMET team, Insp. Majcher, was suspended with pay ... The Vancouver Sun reported he was disappointed that prosecutors had been unwilling to lay charges in his team's cases.
[Suspended? With pay? ... The reason he was suspended? ]

John Sliter

The national director of IMET, Superintendent John Sliter, has been on a six-month language training course
until April. [....]

Diversion: She has no corroborating evidence.

Osama's 'mistress' tells wild stories -- Tales from memoir of 1996 tryst boggle the min , Linda Frum, NatPost, Sept. 23, 06

Kola Boof, an American poet of Sudanese descent, ignited worldwide controversy with her recently published memoir, Diary of a Lost Girl. In it, Boof alleges that she was the mistress of Osama bin Laden for six months in 1996. She claims she was held against her will at the luxury Marrakesh hotel La Maison Arabe. [....]

She may be lost, but was she well paid?

Morocco is no place for a woman alone, even shopping alone.

Update Sept. 25, 06: I realize that comment is based on what I know only but, as a result, nothing would tempt me to go to Morocco on a holiday; maybe others have another perspective. If so, leave a comment.


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