RCMP’s 31 Criminal Charges Against Sen. Mike Duffy
The 31 charges the RCMP laid against suspended Sen. Mike Duffy this morning in relation to the Senate expenses scandal include fraud, bribery and breach of trust. Duffy, a former journalist was appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2008.
Here’s the statement from Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud, Commanding Officer of RCMP National Division:
As Commanding Officer of the RCMP’s National Division, I have committed to keeping Canadians apprised of the results into the criminal investigation of some Senators’ expense claims.
Today, I would like to inform you that the investigation into Senator Mike Duffy has been completed. The case was initiated as an investigation into expense claims relating to his declared primary residence in Prince Edward Island, and secondary residence in Ottawa.
During the investigation of Senator Duffy’s expense claims, a total of four (4) investigational avenues were uncovered.
The first avenue is the filing of Senate expense claims relating to living expenses associated with Mr. Duffy’s secondary residence in Ottawa;
The second is the filing of Senate expense claims for travel for personal and partisan reasons, unrelated to Senate business;
The third is the awarding of consulting contracts over a four-year period, and subsequently using part of the funds from those contracts for personal gain or for expenses which circumvent Senate oversight;
And lastly, the circumstances under which Senator Duffy asked for and received approximately $90,000 from Mr. Nigel Wright, for the purpose of repaying residency expense claims.
This morning, the RCMP has laid a total of 31 charges against Mr. Duffy relating to the avenues I have outlined.
The charges are set out as follows:
Expense claims unrelated to Senate business – Mr. Duffy has been charged with five (5) counts of fraud under $5,000, four (4) counts of fraud over $5,000 and nine (9) counts of breach of trust. The total amount of the frauds exceeds $50,000.
Awarding of consulting contracts – Mr. Duffy has been charged with two (2) counts of fraud over $5,000, two (2) counts of fraud under $5,000, and four (4) counts of breach of trust. The total amount of the frauds exceeds $60,000.
Directly or indirectly corruptly accept, obtain, agree to accept, or attempt to obtain, for himself, money ($90,000 from Mr. Nigel Wright) – Mr. Duffy has been charged with one (1) count each of bribery of a judicial officer, frauds on the Governmentand breach of trust.
Mr. Duffy will appear in court in Ottawa on September 16, 2014.
Since the start of this investigation in 2013, a team of investigators from our Sensitive and International Investigations Section poured over four years’ worth of expense claims, bank statements, phone records and thousands of emails. They interviewed numerous witnesses from British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Prince Edward Island.
As I stated earlier, this investigation started as a referral into expense claims. Since then, investigators followed numerous leads and today’s charges are the result of a careful examination of the facts.
We continue our work on another senate file. Again, we will update Canadians once our work is completed.
In order to respect the court process, we will not be providing any further comments.
Since Duffy “directly or indirectly corruptly” accepted, obtained, agreed to accept, or attempted “to obtain, for himself” $90,000 from Harper’s former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, how is it possible that the RCMP already absolved Wright from wrong doing? In the next few days, Canadians will be demanding answers from both Harper and the RCMP.