About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Dishonest Canadian Private Investigators Caught in the Caribbean

Photo from the Toronto Star
In last post I recounted how Canadian private investigators, Cullen Johnson and Elaine White, engaged in the creation of fraudulent evidence especially with regard to offshore bank accounts.

When caught in 2009 they fled Canada for the Bahamas. They would have been well advised to have maintained a low profile but they aggressively responded to the claims against them. They created a website, Superstar Corruption, in which they claimed they were framed with regard to all the allegations of fraud. They continued lashing out at their accusers.

Justice Lee in an Alberta case against them set out:

    ww) In or about July of 2012, Roger and Martin became aware 
    of a website known as www.superstarcorruption. com. From a
    review of the content of that website, it appears that is is a
    website created by, and maintained by, the Defendants. A
    number of segments of the website, titled "The Western Case",
    "Getting Lucky", "Derrick Snowdy, Cunningham and the Gouin
    Brothers", "Closing Observations", and "Concluding  
    Comments", clearly refer to, and pertain to, the Plaintiffs. By
    this website, the Defendants have repeated the Defamatory

In this electronic age it is fascinating and disturbing that both their original website, Internal Affairs at www.internalaffairs.ca and the Superstar Corruption site at www.superstarcorruption.com remain active and can be accessed.

Had they maintained a low profile I suspect they might have been able to avoid extradition but they arrogantly continued their frauds and drew the attention of American authorities.

Earlier this year, after 3 years in the Caribbean, Global News of Canada reported that they were picked up in the Turks & Caicos Islands for an immigration charge and then extradited to Virginia. Last month they agreed to plead guilty to American criminal charges.

An excerpt from the statement of facts signed by Johnson finally admits to the criminal actions:

3. Clients seeking to locate funds that had been stolen from them, or who believed that relatives or former spouses had hidden money or were otherwise trying to trace lost, missing or stolen assets, hired the defendant and/or his companies and/or co-conspirators to investigate the location of such assets. The defendant and co-conspirators would produce reports of information to such clients, which purported to contain financial and other information subject to the clients' requests.

4. Rather than providing valid information, the defendant and co-conspirators provided the client-victims with false and fraudulent data and fabricated banking records, purporting to show that the assets or monies that clients sought had been moved from one banking institution to another in countries such as Monaco, Greece, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Latin America and the Caribbean. The conspirators convinced victims that for additional payments, they could continue to trace the funds to their final destination. The defendant and White provided this information in so called "Confidential Reports" to clients, via facsimile and e-mail that contained bank account numbers, balances and fund transfers that, in truth and fact, as the defendant well knew, did not exist.

5. In or about 2009, the defendant and White were charged by the Ontario Provincial Police in Canada with crimes related to this asset tracing fraud. The defendant was arraigned and assigned a trial date, but shortly thereafter and being fully aware of the charges, fled Canada, traveling first to the Bahamas, and then to the Turks & Caicos Islands, where the defendant and White continued to operate this fraudulent asset tracing business on U.S. and Canadian victims.

6. From 2006 through 2011, victims of the asset tracing scheme wired the conspirators approximately $1,021,738.60 to bank accounts under their control in Canada, Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Crime paid well for several years but the pair are facing a bleak future.

Canadian lawyers have learned a harsh lesson because of Johnson and White that reports from private investigators must be verified. Relying on the integrity of licenced investigators allowed Cullen and Johnson to cause great pain and harm in Canada.

I expect to see a book and/or movie based on the dangerous duo in the near future. Just reciting the facts makes for a full plot.


  1. Bill - I'm glad that Johnson and White were caught. It's interesting to me that lashing out was more important to them than staying out of reach of the law. As if the other fallout from what they did weren't terrible enough, they've also made it harder for other PTs' and they've diminished the trust there is among cops, PIs and legal offices.

  2. Bill, will the pair now be extradited from the US considering that the frauds were committed mainly on Canadian soil?

  3. Margot: I have yet to be able to determine if they thought they were invulnerable in the Caribbean for there was no logic in attacking their victims.

    I do not expect perfection in any occupation. To me they are more a warning not to take any professional for granted.

  4. Prashant: Thanks for the comment. I am unsure whether they will be extradited. I expect they will be in jail for some time in America. Johnson at least pled guilty to money laundering charges rather than fraud. As I believe the money involved came from American and Canadian schemes it may be difficult to prosecute in Canada because they have been convicted in the U.S. partly with regard to Canadian money.

  5. What a apt name for their website. Almost as if they are bragging about themselves. This will make me sound incredibly judgmental and superficial but those two people just look like the epitome of corruption. Some people wear their true character in their faces. Though perhaps it's the luck and skill of the photographers.

    Fascinating story. True crime so often is much more interesting than fiction, isn't it?

  6. John: Well put. If it was a movie I would say they are stereotypes but they are real life!

    I agree that real crime can trump fictional crime in interest.

  7. Bill: You have an interesting blog, related to white collar crime, in particularly fraud involving the presentation of false information as fact. In this, the net they wove stretched stretched all the way from Canada and the U.S. to Sawark.

    I can attest to the twisted criminal personalities of both Cullen Johnson and Elaine White, having been a co-owner in an Ontario condo corporation and the lead litigant in a successful legal application before the Superior Court of Ontario, from 2006 to 2009. The Application was initiated to correct serious mismanagement issues for which this pair of miscreants were responsible as directors of our condo board.

    Their actions as directors during this period, and response to our legal action, while not involving any criminal activity which could be proven, are appropriately reflected in the nefarious defrauding of various individuals in the U.S. and Canada, and elsewhere.

    The indictment and affidavits of both parties, filed this fall in the U.S., speak volumes about their personalities.

    I hope and expect that they will spend many years incarcerated.

    Duane Sharp

  8. Duane: Thanks for the comment.

    I looked up the case on Canlii.org at http://canlii.ca/t/21r6l.

    It certainly shows the continuing attitude of Cullen Johnson harshly denigrating anyone criticizing his actions. You can see the same type of wording on their superstar corruption

    It must have taken great determination to take them to court knowing how vicious they could be.

    I found it most interesting that when actually confronted with the court action Johnson consented to the orders you wanted with regard to the administration of the condos.

  9. It's a long story, Bill, as you may have noted from the Canlii web site, but after going through several law firms over a period of about four years, and fighting the action all the way, the Johnsons finally found a lawyer who settled the case. The court-appointed auditor found in our favour and the condo accounts were eventually adjusted. Unfortunately, other condo owners did not want to hold the pair responsible for any legal costs, so the condo corp (the owners) had to pay about $100,000 for legal and accounting costs, including the $40K we received to partially cover our lawyer's fees.

    And all of this took place while the Johnsons were busily defrauding people all over North America and beyond! Go figure.

    Did you see the Alberta case where the Johnsons were fined $700,000, again in a complex falsification of information case?

    Here is the web site with the report.http://bayobserver.ca/another-court-reversal-for-private-detectives-who-defamed-formaer-hamilton-mpp/

    Thanks for the comments...keep up the good work. You can bet we will be following the Johnson case to it conclusion and prison time to confirm that this crew gets what it deserves...so richly!



  10. Duane: Thanks for the comment.

    I had read the Alberta decision.

    I shall be interested in seeing what the actual sentences are imposed upon them in Virginia.

  11. Bill, Interesting how our paths cross once again. Duane referred me to your blog, as someone interested in the Johnson cases.

    As you may recall, I initiated the action that resulted in the HIV Blood Inquiry.

    Similarly, I exposed and challenged the Johnsons and took legal action when they were Directors on our condo Board. He previously served with me on this Board.

    It took a concerted effort with Duane and another former director and lots of determination through the abuse that the Johnsons are well capable of dishing out.

    All the Best,

    Jerry Freise

  12. Jerry: Thanks for the comment. I am no longer surprised at how small the world really is.

    I appreciate your efforts against the Johnsons. You certainly take on major opponents.

    I expect the Johnsons aggressive actions allowed them to continue far longer with their deceptions.

  13. Bill: Glad to see that my condo and litigation colleague, Jerry Freise, caught up with you, since he recognized your name from the HIV Blood Inquiry.

    You probably picked up Bruce Livesay's piece in The Canadian Lawyer (" Hoodwinked") in the Oct 7, 2013 issue. If not, it is a good read!



    1. Duane: Thanks for the comment.

      I would not have known about the Johnsons without Livesay's article.

  14. Ok, don't see Canadian Lawyer very often, so it wasn't one of my earlier sources. Livesay did a good job of the complete subject of white collar crime which focuses on the falsification of financial information, a process which the Johnsons perfected, until the axe fell!

    Strange isn't it, Bill, that these 'criminal masterminds' believe they can get away with their crimes, without getting caught!


    1. Duane: What surprised me more their brazen fabrications was that the lawyers they supplied the information used it without verifying properly what they were given by the Johnsons. Confirming documents, especially when disputed, is standard legal practice.

  15. well we certainly have comments regarding Elaine White but although she may have mislead clients - there are two former clients that were victims of their ex husbands and their criminal manipulation of our family courts to steal every dime from their former spouses. Investigators are called in when ex husbands don't with to disclose so they don't have to divide. The husband of Louise Hockley Sweeney has shell companies offshore but the judge and the press were aware that he was hiding assets, but rather than attribute income to a man with the resources to bribe and shut down evidence, the system abused the ex wife and slandered her....leaving her to die in poverty with breast cancer. The downloading of the ex husbands legal expenses while not attributing income was a recipe for her murder via the system. The other victim was Joan Montgomery a wife of Eric Cunningham of 24 years who had a 50/50 marriage agreement and contributed millions to the marriage in addition to working both inside and outside of the marriage. Mr. Cunningham lied regarding his income being 17k despite being on numerous boards of directors, misrepresented the OEB Enterprise value to defraud and mislead the former ex wife, lied about his income and continued during divorce proceedings to have false affidavits, threaten auditors, block enforced court orders, demand no Anton Piller orders despite non disclosure, block enforced court orders to the bank; enter into the court a known fraudulent Halton Police report stating that he did not have any monies at the banks to obtain a fraudulent Justice Patillo decision when post court it was found that the banks were stating that the police report was fraudulent as the police did not have police warrants or enforced court orders; and he blocked disclosure claiming identity fraud. A document separate from Elaine White documents hints at his taking another's identity to send the ex wife's monies offshore. For over 8 years he danced around the system claiming that he had Judicial protection to the supreme court as an ex Liberal politician. It appears that there is more to this story that E. White. Non disclosure of company sale, income and involvement with 5 Canadian banks.

  16. This is great post.Its about private investigator like that investigation.Thanks

  17. I become very upset that canadia private investigator was dishonest.


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