‘Crime Family’ busted in mob raid laundered more than $70M through Ontario casinos - Canadanewsmedia
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‘Crime Family’ busted in mob raid laundered more than $70M through Ontario casinos



Members of an Ontario ‘crime family’ with alleged ties to the Italian Mafia laundered more than $70 million in dirty money through provincial casinos in “just a few short years,” according to new allegations made by York Regional Police.

The allegations were made Thursday at a news conference announcing the arrest of nine people in connection to one of Canada’s largest-ever organized crime busts.

“Ontario casinos, they were used nightly by this group,” said York Regional Police Det.-Sgt. Carl Mattinen.

“This allowed for large quantities of money to be gambled where there would be a minimal loss incurred. The subjects could then leave with thousands of dollars each night, under the guise of successful casino play.”

According to Mattinen, reports received from casinos as part of the investigation suggested the criminal organization was able to “clean in excess of $70 million” through Ontario casinos over the past few years.

“It was not uncommon for our surveillance officers to see between $30,000 and $50,000 gambled per night at our Ontario casinos,” he said.

Millions seized during three-day raid

In total, police seized more than $35 million worth of assets they claim were obtained using the proceeds of crime as a result of their investigation. This included 27 homes, gambling machines, more than $1 million in cash, plus numerous high-end vehicles, including five Ferraris.

The investigation and subsequent arrests were made possible, in part, because of co-operation between Canadian law enforcement agencies and Italian State Police, who police say exchanged information.

WATCH: Police allege millions in illegals funds ‘funnelled’ through legitimate businesses

According to police, the organized ‘crime family’ based in southern Ontario that includes the nine individuals arrested, plus one more person still wanted by police, has ties to a Mafia group from the southern Italian province of Calabria. Police said at least 12 arrests were made in Calabria as a result of a related investigation.

Police also said Thursday that the Ontario group has used violence and intimidation, as well as committed numerous other criminal acts, to earn millions of dollars in illegal profits. These alleged activities include loan sharking and operating illegal casinos.

The proceeds of these crimes, police say, were then funnelled through legitimate businesses and real estate transactions as a means of cleaning the dirty money.

“They have legitimized themselves by funnelling illegal profits through business; including financial institutions, car dealerships, finance companies and even charities,” said York Regional Police Chief Eric Jolliffe during Thursday’s press conference.

“We know that they have laundered tens of millions of dollars through casinos in Ontario,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), which is responsible for the province’s casinos, said it cannot comment on specific questions because the matter involves an ongoing police investigation.

“OLG takes money laundering seriously, and complies with all federal and provincial requirements, including the reporting of transactions required by Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC),” said an OLG spokesperson in a written statement.

Six charged with money laundering

Those arrested as part of the three-day raid include Angelo Figliomeni, 56, Emilio Zannuti, 48, Vito Sili, 37, Erica Quintal, 30, Nicola Martino, 52, and Salvatore Oliveti, 52.

All six of these individuals were charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Figliomeni, who police claim is the boss of the Ontario-based organization, was also charged with instructing or directing a criminal organization, possession of the proceeds of crime and tax evasion for failing to report millions of dollars in illegal income to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

“Income or revenue generated from illegal activities such as gambling and loan sharking is taxable and must be reported to the CRA,” said the CRA’s acting-director of criminal investigations Stéphane Bonin.

Oliveti, meanwhile, was singled out by police for his significant role in allegedly laundering the crime family’s dirty money.

“Options B Solutions, a financial company run in Vaughan by Salvatore Oliveti, played a major role in the cleaning of illegal funds for this criminal organization,” Mattinen said Thursday.

Past allegations of criminal ties

This isn’t the first time Figliomeni and Oliveti have made headlines.

In 2010, both men were the subjects of media reports when Italian prosecutors issued anti-mafia warrants against seven men living in the Greater Toronto Area. Figliomeni and Oliveti were named in the warrants, which targeted alleged members of the ‘Ndrangheta, a Mafia group that arose in southern Italy.

At the time, Oliveti’s lawyer denied he had any connection with the Italian Mafia and organized crime, adding in a story published by the Globe and Mail that Oliveti was “shocked and mystified by the Italian warran

Oliveti has also been tied to the family of Montreal crime boss Vito Rizzuto, who, according to a 2010 Globe and Mail report, were part owners of Olifas Marketing Group Inc., a company run by Oliveti.

In addition to his role at Option B, Oliveti is the founder and “chairman of the board” for REV IT UP for SickKids, a Vaughan-based organization that raises money for families with children who are ill.

Global News contacted REV IT UP for comment about Oliveti’s arrest and whether the organization was targeted as part of the police investigation announced Thursday.

Nadia Cerelli-Fiore, who’s listed on REV IT UP’s website as a board member and director of marketing and media relations, did not answer direct questions.

“I won’t be of any assistance in this matter under investigation,” Cerelli-Fiore said in a written statement. “I handle media relations for the charity event, REV IT UP For SickKids which to my knowledge is in no way connected to this.”

“I don’t have any further details at this point,” she said.

Meanwhile, law enforcement officials at Thursday’s press conference said their investigation was still ongoing and that they are aware of other criminal activity that was not included in the recently announced set of charges. Police also indicated that the arrests “signify the fall of power for the most significant ‘Ndrangheta crime family operating in York Region.”

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Liberals block ethics commissioner from testifying about SNC-Lavalin report




The Liberal majority on the House ethics committee voted down an opposition motion to have Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion testify about his report which found that Justin Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act over the SNC-Lavalin affair. Vassy Kapelos gets reaction from MPs on the committee. Plus, the Power Panel breaks down the Ford government’s changes to Ontario’s sex-education curriculum.

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Joshua Boyle worried about what his wife might tell police




Joshua Boyle

After calling 911 to report that his wife was missing and suicidal, Joshua Boyle told an Ottawa police sergeant that he was also worried what she might tell authorities when she was found.

“He told me he was concerned, as any husband would be, with what Caitlan (Coleman) would say to us when we found her,” Sgt. Shane Henderson told court Tuesday.

Henderson was one of the first officers to respond to Boyle’s 911 emergency call late on the night of Dec. 30, 2017. A recording of that call was played in court Tuesday.

The 911 call was made at 11:47 p.m. from a Centretown address.

Boyle told the dispatcher that his wife was threatening to kill herself. He said she was alone in her room then ran outside, and was “screaming at the top of her lungs that she was going to kill herself.”

He said she had borderline personality disorder, PTSD, “extreme mental instability” and other issues.

“I am very worried for her right now,” he said in the telephone recording, played in court.


Boyle told police his wife was wearing a hijab scarf on her head, but did not have a coat and may not have shoes.

Before she left the apartment, Boyle said they had an argument that “turned into rabid self-loathing, a panic attack, something, I’m not sure.”

“I had asked her to stay in her room,” he said.

“It shouldn’t be long,” the dispatcher told Boyle. “We’ll get some officers to see you there, OK?”

“OK,” Boyle replied. “Just try to be gentle with her: She is really going through a rough time.”

Sgt. Henderson was the first officer on scene, and went to Boyle’s apartment at 12:05 a.m.

Boyle repeated what he had told the dispatcher, and said his wife had initially raced up the stairs towards another apartment in the three-storey apartment block. Henderson testified: “He told me that he did not want to drag Caitlan back into the apartment or did not want to hit her.”

Henderson and another officer went to the second apartment and interviewed the young man who lived there. The tenant said he had heard someone banging on his back door 20 minutes earlier, but did not answer it.

Court heard that the officers searched the back staircase and yard but could not locate Coleman so they returned to Boyle’s apartment for more information.

According to Henderson, Boyle said Coleman was particularly stressed because her mother was in town, and she was worried about the state of their apartment. They had also argued, Boyle told Henderson, about drawing on walls and “Caitlan, as a wife, not performing her roles and responsibilities as a mother.”

Boyle told Henderson that he wanted Coleman to stay in her room and calm down. “He told me he kept the door open and at no time prevented her from leaving,” Henderson testified.

“He said he offered to have sex with Caitlan if she wanted to.”

When Henderson asked if Coleman had a cellphone, Boyle reached on top of the fridge and retrieved a flip phone.

Henderson asked what it was doing there. “Boyle said he took the phone away to make sure she did not break the phone as she had broken phones in the past,” Henderson testified.

Boyle is on trial on 19 charges, including assault, sexual assault and forcible confinement.

His wife Caitlan Coleman, with whom he was held hostage in Afghanistan, is the principal complainant in the case. She’s expected to testify Wednesday.

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Tanker crash kills one, injures nine near Cereal Alberta




Tanker crash

“One of the semi trucks was hauling fuel and that fuel ignited,” said RCMP Cpl. Laurel Scott. “So, that caused other vehicles in the collision to catch fire. A second semi was hauling butane and that’s caused a concern.”

A release from RCMP also confirmed the collision area is “consumed with flames.”

As a result of the second truck hauling butane, a preliminary evacuation order had been issued for the hamlet of Chinook.

By 9:00 pm, Alberta Emergency Alert officially rescinded the evacuation order for the community.

STARS Air Ambulance has flown one person to hospital in Calgary in serious, potentially life-threatening condition while HALO transported another individual in serious condition.

Brideaux also confirmed to Global News that six people have been treated at the scene and are likely to be released.

RCMP are also reaching out to anyone who was a part of or was witness to the domino crash, asking them to meet with officers in nearby Oyen.

“We’re asking those people to attend the Legion in Oyen,” said Scott. “Right now the Legion has been opened, food is available at the Legion, our Victims Services Unit members are at the Legion, and we have an RCMP member or members at the Legion. So, anybody who was a part of this collision, witness or needing some assistance in relation to the collision, is asked to go to the Legion.”

There is no word yet on the original cause of the fatal crash, as Scott added it will be several hours before a collision analyst is able to attend the scene.

“We will have a collision analyst attending,” she said. “But, I can tell you that collision analyst is not able and has not been able to look at the scene to do any examination or investigation.”

Traffic has since been rerouted from Highway 9 to Highway 884 eastbound and Highway 41 westbound.

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