Thursday, February 2, 2017

RCM employee convicted of smuggling $162K of gold up anus Sentenced

Royal Canadian Mint employee Leston Lawrence who used his anus to smuggle 22 solid gold "pucks" out of the secure RCM facility in Ottawa has been given a 30-month prison sentence and must pay a fine of $190,000.

In November, 35-year-old Lawrence was found guilty of stealing the 22 pucks from the mint on Sussex Drive, and of laundering 17 of them through Ottawa Gold Buyers.
Vaseline and latex gloves were recovered in his locker; the pucks seized from his safety deposit box exactly matched the kind he made in the refinery; he repeatedly set off the metal detector exiting the Mint’s secure area. There was no explanation for the thousands of dollars he wired out of the country.Lawrence set off the archway metal detector, which all 1,000 secure-area employees must pass through, 28 times in 41 days. He was cleared each time by a secondary search with a hand-held wand.
Court heard Lawrence was arranging to build a home in Kingston, Jamaica and buy a $45,000 (US) boat from a marina in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Almost $35,000 had been transferred to the Jamaican contractor and about $34,000 to the boat supplier.

And this, Justice Doody noted, from a man who made about $55,000 annually at the Mint.
It wasn't even the Mint that discovered the theft, but an alert bank teller. On multiple occasions Lawrence took small circular chunks of gold — a cookie-sized nugget called a “puck” — to Ottawa Gold Buyers.

Typically, the pucks weighed about 210 grams, or 7.4 ounces, for which he was given cheques in the $6,800 range. He then deposited them at the Royal Bank in the same mall. A teller became suspicious at the size and number of Ottawa Gold Buyers cheques being deposited and Lawrence’s request to wire money out of the country. She then noticed on his account profile that he worked at the Mint.

Eventually, a search warrant was obtained and four Mint-style pucks were found in Lawrence’s safety deposit box. Records revealed 18 pucks had been sold between Nov. 27, 2014 and March 12, 2015.