Regina vs. Waddilove & Steele

Financial Institution
Loan Fraud

An Acquittal of the Banker and the Bankee

In May 1976, this fraud trial was held in Toronto, a trial that involved the largest allegation of bank fraud in Canadian history: $3 million.

I spent 7 days in the witness box, in a jury trial using graphs and schedules to explain the circular flow of funds in a significant kiting scheme. Several interesting points arose from this case:

  • The jury returned with an acquittal and a lesson was learned that there is no need to prove all the transactions in a case as it becomes too confusing for the jury. Be selective.
  • Although it was my first negative experience with a jury, it nonetheless confirmed to me the need for any expert witness to first spend time in a court room so that one’s relationship to it is somewhat like that of a lawyer
  • The significant experience I gained by working at the counsel table through a jury trial
  • With several references to the earlier Regina vs. Parks ruling, Judge Graburn also ruled accounting schedules as admissible noting that “it would be impossible for the jury to do the same type of work that Mr. Lindquist has done here”
  • More importantly, do not become personally (subjectively) involved with the client’s case