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Opinion stories

KNIGHT: Liberal candidate tainted by organized crime allegations

Peschisolido is still on the ballot on October 21st to once again represent the Liberal Party of Canada in the House of Commons.

It used to be in the parliamentary system that an MP would step aside if he was under investigation. If that member refused to step aside,  typically the party leader would demand a resignation until the cloud of suspicion was lifted or not as the case may be. 

But with a Prime Minister who has himself been found guilty of not one, but two ethics violations and may be the subject of an RCMP investigation over his handling of the SNC-Lavelin corruption prosecution file, he is hardly in a position to stand in judgement of Liberal MP for Steveston – Richmond East Joe Peschisolido who has  a major raincloud over his head. 

Peschisolido is by trade a lawyer. Unfortunately for him, he surrendered his law licence last year and the BC Law Society literally took over his law practice in April and assigned a custodian to wind down his files. 

In June and July, Global’s Sam Cooper reported that he is under investigation by the RCMP looking into money-laundering allegations and their relationship to Asian Organized Crime (AOC).

If that’s not bad enough, the Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion announced in a letter in August to  Conservative MP Peter Kent that he was investigating Peschisolido for failing to update his disclosure records required by all MPs after the Law Society took control of his law firm. 

All of this is related to money laundering through B.C. casinos and dodgy real estate deals. 

The RCMP investigation dubbed E-Pirate which began in 2015 learned Peschisolido was “affiliated with” and was “structuring” investment deals for some of his clients associated with AOC. 

Damning information one might think. Yet, Peschisolido is still on the ballot on October 21st to once again represent the Liberal Party of Canada in the House of Commons. 

The cast of characters being investigated involves members of the notorious Big Circle Boys including alleged loan shark and convicted drug dealer Kwok Tam. But there are others with links to everything from prostitution to private casinos, loan sharking, drug dealing and extortion.

There are a number of lawsuits resulting from all of this as well as a pending public inquiry into the sordid mess that was identified by two separate reports into money laundering done for the B.C. Attorney General David Eby by retired RCMP Deputy Commissioner Peter German. The inquiry will be chaired by Supreme Court Justice Austin Cullen and is expected to report by May of 2021.

There are a great many tentacles to all of this and certainly the spectre of involvement in AOC money laundering, with clients who are involved in all manner of criminal enterprises including “transnational organized crime” according to RCMP documents. 

What is clear is that there is much more to come in all of this and yet Peschisolido is still on the ballot and could very well get re-elected in Steveston – Richmond East which has a significant Asian population. 

All of this is in the public domain. And the Prime Minister is trying to label Conservative leader Andrew Scheer as somehow unfit because he may or may not have been licensed as an insurance broker.  

The mind boggles.

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