Proceeds of Crime, Forfeiture & Money Laundering

Greg Delbigio has years of experience representing clients in connection with matters related to proceeds of crime and money laundering including:

  • Advice and representation during criminal investigations
  • Defence against charges and criminal prosecution
  • Appeals from conviction
  • Defence against asset seizures and restraint
  • Advice on compliance issues

He has extensive experience in all levels of court including the British Columbia Provincial Court, the British Columbia Supreme Court, the BC Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Canadian legal framework to deal with proceeds of crime and money laundering was originally set out in the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) Act. The Act was subsequently changed in 2001 to address international issues in relation to terrorism and renamed the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA).

The PCMLTFA imposes legal obligations on a number of different entities, including financial institutions, foreign exchange businesses, investment and portfolio management, and securities dealers, to comply with client identification, record-keeping, reporting and internal compliance measures. This includes reporting suspicious transactions, large cash transactions and international wire transfers to Canada’s financial intelligence unit, FINTRAC (the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada).

FINTRAC’s role is to facilitate the detection and deterrence of money laundering and terrorist activity financing in Canada and abroad by analyzing suspect transactions and, when permitted by law, making case disclosures of financial intelligence to the appropriate law enforcement agency, the Canada Revenue Agency or to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

This may result in a tax related or criminal investigation or prosecution.

Greg Delbigio knows the history of Canadian proceeds of crime and money laundering legislation. Over the years he has reviewed in detail the content of the laws and their implications both for lawyers and their clients.

Issues include the protection of Charter rights during investigations (including search and seizure and preserving lawyer-client privilege and confidentiality), asset seizure, restraint and forfeiture, and the defence against criminal charges.

As a CBA representative before the Canadian House of Commons and Senate Committees Greg DelBigio provided submission addressing the issues of money laundering, organized crime and anti-terrorism measures during the 2001 hearings on PCMLTFA and participated in 2005 in the same capacity during the review of Bill C-284, Corporate Criminal Liability.

Recent News
19 Nov 2012

In July 2012, Mr. DelBigio joined leading tax firm Thorsteinssons LLP as Counsel in that firm’s tax litigation group. Mr. DelBigio will be offering clients his significant expertise in cases involving tax evasion, search and seizure and constitutional defences. Mr. DelBigio will continue to service ongoing clients and offer criminal defence services for other criminal.

17 Jun 2010

As recently reported by the Canadian Bar Association, the Air India Inquiry final report, released on June 17, made a number of recommendations that were consistent with proposals made by the CBA in its intervention at the Inquiry. The report singled out the CBA’s submissions on the relationship between intelligence and evidence and the challenges.

2 May 2010

“Court can order lawyers to work for free,”* April 9, 2010, Lawyers Weekly. View the article. In this case a criminal defence lawyer (Cunningham) was employed by Yukon Legal Aid to represent an accused charged with sexual offences against a young child. The accused failed to update his financial information as required by Legal Aid.