Morrisseau Art Fraud-Related Criminal Issues

The R.C.M.P. Morrisseau Art Fraud Investigation

Federal Enforcement Section

A Sept 2008 -Dec 2010 Royal Canadian Mounted Police national investigation which "uncovered evidence of fraud" has failed, to date, to provide the necessary evidence to prosecute those responsible. Hundreds of witnesses and suspects were interviewed by RCMP investigators including eye witnesses to forgery production and participants who disclosed their roles in the fraud, however...
"The Evidence necessary to formulate reasonable grounds to assess criminal responsibility against individuals and galleries in the Greater Toronto Area was lacking ...."
RCMP, July 2012
The Thunder Bay Police Services Investigation
In December 2010 a comprehensive investigation report was forwarded by the R.C.M.P. to the Thunder Bay Police Service for consideration of initiating a criminal investigation in the Greater Thunder Bay area.
One Gary Bruce Lamont of Thunder Bay named in multiple lawsuits as central to the alleged Morrisseau art fraud scheme was investigated by the Thunder Bay Police Service investigation
This resulted in a related conviction before Superior Court Justice Fregeau who called Gary Bruce Lamont, “A Serial Sexual Predator, preying upon young vulnerable victims”. He sentenced Lamont to five years imprisonment for five counts of sexual assault. Read the Thunder Bay Netnewsledger article of Feb 9 2016
The RCMP continue to solicit information that may assist with the Morrisseau fraud investigation. New evidence may be submitted directly to the Federal Enforcement Section, Toronto West Detachment, 2755 High Point Drive, Milton, ON L9T 5E8 for review and assessment.
Regina v Otavnik 
Found Not Guilty at Trial (May 2013)
On April 6 2010 Joseph Otavnik was arrested and charged by the Toronto Police Service (53 Division) for the alleged assault and criminal harassment of Ritchie Sinclair
Status: The Otavnik Criminal Court trial of Feb 24 2012 was adjourned to March 2013. The Crown failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt and Mr. Otavnik was found, Not Guilty, on May 17 2013.
Note: Mr. Otavnik sued the Toronto Police Services Board and four officers in Oshawa Small Claims Court in 2010. His action was dismissed with costs against him in December 2013.

Regina v Sinclair

Found Not Guilty at Trial (March 2012)

On December 18 2010 Ritchie Sinclair was arrested and charged by Toronto Police Service (53 Division) with the alleged criminal harassment of Joseph McLeod.
  • Joseph McLeod Police Statement
  • Kersti McLeod Police Statement
  • Video of civil court subpoena service (Dec. 17 2010)
  • Motion Transcript (March 5 2012)
  • Motion Transcript (March 8 2012)
  • Motion Transcript (March 9 2012)
  • Motion Exhibits (March 5, 8, 9 2012)
  • Trial Transcript (March 12 2012)
  • Trial Exhibits (March 12 2012)
  • OIPRD complaint #1 (June 23 2011)
  • Review of OIPRD complaint #1  (July 2012)
  • OIPRD complaint #2 (June 2012)

Status: The Sinclair Criminal Court trial of March 12 2012 took place and SINCLAIR was found, Not Guilty. Sinclair's accusers did not appear at trial and the Crown submitted no evidence against him. The Court found that the Complainant, Mr. McLeod, provided "inaccurate" information to the Police.