Lawyer convicted in cash scam

Rosenfeld has declared bankruptcy and last summer the Ontario Court of Appeal rejected his attempt to be discharged, saying he had not been fully forthcoming about his assets.

The Toronto Star
February 23, 2005

Lawyer convicted in cash scam
Jury finds Simon Rosenfeld guilty of money laundering. Charges stem from 2002 RCMP sting operation.
Betsy Powell

A jury yesterday found Yorkville lawyer Simon Rosenfeld guilty on money laundering charges stemming from a 2002 RCMP sting operation, rejecting the defence that his mental state rendered him incapable of the crime.

He is to be sentenced by Justice Tamarin Dunnet on March 7 in Ontario Superior Court. The maximum penalty for a conviction is 10 years in prison.

Crown attorneys Rosemary Warren and George Lennox asked Dunnet to revoke Rosenfeld's bail, but the judge refused.

Rosenfeld's lawyer, Glen Orr, could not be reached for comment last night.

Jurors deliberated for about four hours before delivering their verdict.

Rosenfeld, 58, was convicted of two counts of possessing, transporting and transmitting money — $250,000 (Canadian) and $190,000 (U.S.) — he believed to be derived from cocaine trafficking. He was also found guilty of attempting to possess proceeds he thought were illicit.

Warren and Lennox presented jurors with evidence of a paper trail that showed Rosenfeld carrying out transactions to clean money supplied to him by RCMP undercover agent Bill Majcher, posing as a member of a Colombian cocaine cartel.

During the three-week trial, the jury screened surveillance audio and video recordings of Rosenfeld's meetings with Majcher, whom Orr described as looking more like "a comptroller with a small company" than a drug kingpin.

During the trial, the jury heard that money laundering is about concealing the source of money derived from crime. The money is put through a number of steps so it ultimately appears to have been derived from something legitimate, Majcher testified.

When officers conduct a "sting," as they did in this case, they must get the target of the sting to admit the illegal source of the money.

In his final address to jurors, Orr said the Crown had not proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Rosenfeld believed the money to be drug proceeds because Rosenfeld was delusional and it was impossible to know what he believed.

Orr called no evidence in the case but argued that until Rosenfeld met Majcher, he had not laundered money for anyone. The Mounties had targeted an "unbalanced man," he said.

The Crown disputed this and said surveillance recordings clearly show his willingness to launder money he believed to be drug profits.

What the jury didn't hear was that Rosenfeld was nabbed in 2002 as part of a joint RCMP-FBI sting called Bermuda Short, a two-pronged operation aimed at the alleged bribing of fictitious mutual fund officials and alleged drug money laundering.

In all, 58 arrests were made. Among those indicted were 20 Canadians, including Rosenfeld, Mark Valentine, disgraced former head of Toronto brokerage Thomson Kernaghan, and Vancouver lawyer Martin Chambers, who was also convicted of money laundering in a sting carried out by Majcher.

Jurors also didn't hear that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission won a $2.8 million (U.S.) judgment against Rosenfeld in 2001. He had been involved in promotion of a company called Synpro Environmental Services between 1991 and 1994 and was found to have violated numerous securities regulations. The SEC also banned him from being a director or officer of a public company, a fact that did come out at trial.

Rosenfeld has declared bankruptcy and last summer the Ontario Court of Appeal rejected his attempt to be discharged, saying he had not been fully forthcoming about his assets.


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