Fraud is a huge crime issue facing many communities. They take immense resources from law enforcement and the legal system, yet here in Cornwall many are not even investigated.
The standard line of recent vintage cases from the CCPS is that investigations can take five months.
Now many in the public that might not have any knowledge of the process might swallow that, but frankly that duck doesn’t fly.
You have two areas to prove in any crime, motive, and action. There are latin terms for them, but that’s not really relevant here.
It’s also one consideration for the community to consider switching to the OPP as the CCPS clearly hasn’t put resources into fraud investigations.
Recently there were two large cases, the Caskenette case involving minor league hockey, and the Gilles Latour case which included him allegedly defrauding his own mother.
The amount of officers locally working on fraud is frighteningly small in Cornwall. Some annecdotal reports suggest as few as one officer has worked in fraud at one point. There are expertise needed to investigate fraud properly.
Not only that, once a decision to lay a charge is made there is even more expertise in delivering a case that a crown can get a conviction on.
Could a lack of resources spent on fraud by the CCPS jeopardize getting convictions in these two high profile cases and others?
Locally reports have come into CFN of many cases of fraud not being prosecuted. Sometimes the fraudsters have allegedly even been tipped off during those five month delays. All one has to do is look at how many leaks alone have been reported in media like the Seaway News.
While Cornwall is a city of nearly 50,000 people it behaves in many ways like a village of 5,000 so when you have officers related to journalists, or whose kids play hockey together, or go to the same service clubs things can get hinky.
It was reported that one fraud investigator was shunned at their kids hockey games because people like Caskenette, while not yet convicted, clearly had more support from hockey parents than the poor officer charged with doing their job.
Of course Cornwall is also a town that just had parents tossed from girls hockey games for tossing racial slurs.
We’re seen a recent spate of police blotter entries for Ontario Works fraud. In those cases generally the evidence is fairly clear and the police do not have to do much more than confirm allegations and records.
Are poor people being penalized when it comes to fraud investigations because they aren’t friends with Gilles Latour’s friends?
Head of the police board, Andre Rivette, apparently flashed his police board card to an officer during a road stop a few years ago. Did he get a free pass because he was “connected”? Likewise, a historical allegation against Rivette came in suggesting that during the Ice Storm he was engaged in back door selling of fire wood that he was commissioned, at great compensation, to clear for government agencies. City Councilor Rivette did not respond to questions from CFN regarding the allegations that allegedly included him transferring his home to his son’s name out of fear of a fraud conviction.
Do the poor or those “unconnected” simply get charged and convicted more than those in the loop? This is a scary and slippery slope for any community.
Fraud and white collar crime cost a community far more dollars than people that throw grass clippings or call each other names while making drunken threats. Shouldn’t local law enforcement be balancing the load a bit better instead of racking up stats to defend rising budgets?
Ultimately if outside pressures and possible corruption impact actual investigations it creates a situation where bad guys and girls feel more brazen to abuse the system which ultimately costs the community.
Clearly there needs to be a dialog regarding policing for Cornwall Ontario, especially since Chief Dan Parkinson and his staff don’t seem able to reign in rising costs.
What do you think dear CFN viewers? Are connected fraudsters getting away with crimes while the poor don’t? Is it time to dialog about farming out fraud investigations if the CCPS do not have or choose not to allocate enough resources to this burgeoning area of crime in our community? Or ultimately is it time to seriously look at bringing the OPP to Cornwall?
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