OTTAWA – Biker gangs and the Mafia are dabbling in Canada’s money markets, according to a new report.
The government report probing organized crime meddling in Canada’s financial sector was obtained by QMI Agency through an Access to Information request.
It points to a market made vulnerable to crime due, in part, to Canada’s patchwork regulatory agencies and finds criminal gangs operate in different ways depending on the jurisdiction.
“There appear to be differences in the schemes prevalent within the provinces,” notes the report.
In Quebec, the Mafia is more involved in financial crimes than outlaw biker gangs and focuses its efforts on market manipulation schemes like artificially boosting the value of investments.
In Ontario, organized crime is more likely to be involved in so-called “boiler room” operations – high-pressure sales tactics selling questionable financial products, often through telemarketing – and Ponzi schemes.
And fraudsters also often get away with a slap on the wrist.
“Although securities offences may invoke serious harm for individuals, companies and society, the penalties will often be limited to administrative and regulatory sanctions such as fines,” the report states.
According to the report, victims ranged from individual investors to corporations. But the report notes few victims are willing to report financial crimes – in many cases because they’re too embarrassed.