Lawyer facing criminal charges consents to suspension

A 71-year-old Toronto-area lawyer facing criminal charges following a police search at his law office last month is out on bail and has consented to the suspension of his licence.

Kenneth James appeared before a three-member hearing panel at the Law Society of Upper Canada in downtown Toronto on July 4 wearing dark denim jeans and a light cotton shirt with his lawyer, Scott Bergman.

During the hearing, James consented to the suspension of his licence. The suspension will remain in place pending the resolution of the criminal charges and a separate matter involving a series of allegedly fraudulent mortgage transactions under investigation by the law society.

“Mr. James is willing to co-operate fully in the interest of the public and has taken the necessary steps to ensure that the accounts in question are handed over to the appropriate bodies,” Bergman told the law society hearing panel on July 4.

Police allege James, an experienced real estate lawyer at James and Associates, laundered several million dollars in proceeds of crime through his law office in Concord, Ont.

The RCMP executed search warrants at James and Associates at 3100 Steeles Ave. W. in Concord and a residence located at 76 Willowridge Rd. in Etobicoke on June 7.

Police have charged him with possession of the proceeds of crime, laundering the proceeds of crime, and fraud over $5,000. The charges followed a 24-month probe that began in June of 2010 as a result of an international drug investigation, the RCMP said last month. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

According to a notice of application filed by the law society in May 2010, it’s investigating James in relation to a series of allegedly fraudulent mortgage transactions at 12 locations in the Greater Toronto Area.

The law society has yet to set a hearing date for the matter related to the mortgage transactions.

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