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HomeBusinessPacNet search warrants valid, says B.C. Supreme Court judge

PacNet search warrants valid, says B.C. Supreme Court judge

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Bob Mackin

Lawyers for a Vancouver company accused of fraud in the United States failed to overturn search warrants on constitutional grounds.

PacNet founder Rosanne Day

PacNet Services Ltd. and related company DeepCove Laboratories, were blacklisted Sept. 22, 2016 by the Office of Foreign Assets Control. U.S. investigators targeted the companies for allegedly running mass-mailing schemes for years.

Canadian authorities, at the request of the U.S., obtained warrants and searched the two companies in late summer 2016. During four days of arguments in B.C. Supreme Court in November and January, PacNet and Deep Cove alleged their constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure was breached

But, in her April 9 verdict, Justice Janet Winteringham disagreed.

Winteringham found there were reasonable and probable grounds to believe that foreign offences were committed and that the evidence would be found at PacNet and Deep Cove offices.

Though the investigations spanned many years and numerous documents were sought, I have found that the scope of the searches was justified, that there was a sufficient nexus between the foreign offences and the records to be seized and the descriptions contained in the search warrants and underlying affidavits were sufficient in the circumstances,” Winteringham ruled. “I have also determined that the explanation provided about the form of authorization sought, search warrants and not evidence-gathering orders, was justified in the circumstances.”

Canada’s Minister of Justice approved the request from the U.S. on Aug. 30, 2016 to search payment processor PacNet and software provider DeepCove under the mutual legal assistance on criminal matters treaty. DeepCove and PacNet shared offices. PacNet president Rosanne Day was also a director of DeepCove.

Charged in Las Vegas in 2019 for mail and wire fraud and money laundering were: Day, part-owner and Ireland office head Robert Paul Davis, director of marketing Genevieve Renee Frappier and chief compliance and anti-money laundering officer Miles Kelly. They could face 20 years in jail if convicted.

U.S. authorities allege that PacNet and DeepCove processed fraudulently-induced payments in violation of U.S. laws and as such acted in a way to perpetrate the offences, most particularly, the mass-mailing of fraudulent solicitations,” said the judgment.

“Canadian authorities executed the search warrants at the PacNet and DeepCove premises over four days. Following the search, they learned that some of the items sought were held at a storage facility. To permit the search and seizure of documents located at the storage facility, the court issued an evidence gathering order (to seize the documents from the storage facility and move the documents into the hands of the authorities) and subsequent search warrant.”

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