Friday, September 8, 2017

West Vancouver lawyer suspended 6 months over $25 million in dodgy transactions

The Law Society of British Columbia has ordered the suspension of West Vancouver lawyer Donald Gurney for six months for professional misconduct in letting $25,845,489 of offshore cash flow into the country. He provided no services for the massive cash but charged a tenth of one per cent of the amount given “the risk involved.” In a 2015 Supreme Court of Canada decision lawyers won an exemption from the reporting rules that apply to everybody else. In May, the disciplinary panel found that Gurney — a septuagenarian 49-year veteran of the bar — flowed nearly $26 million from Belize, Marshall Islands and Nevis into a newly incorporated B.C. firm “with, as far as he knew, no assets and no plans.”
Citing a sheaf of media reports showing billions of offshore dollars flowing into B.C. real estate, many deals involving lawyers’ trust accounts, the LSBC appeared to be taking no steps to properly police money laundering. It took two years for the law society to cite Gurney after it learned of the transactions.