As the discovery phase, in the Canadian civil case styled Lawrence Heath, et al vs. Leon Frazer and Associates, Inc., unfolds, we have examined what appears to be a very disturbing document, filed in the case. It is an affidavit, containing information submitted by, and executed by, Leon Frazer's current compliance officer, Alexander Adeniyi, that is sworn to be true, but this does not appear to be the case.
Perhaps a little background is in order; Lawrence Heath QC, a 90-year old retired Canadian lawyer, had his investments placed with William Tynkaluk, his personal financial advisor at Leon Frazer & Associates, Inc., an Ontario-based wealth management firm. The suit involves $10.2m, of the plaintiff's investments and cash, which is missing and unaccounted for. Leon Frazer had a fiduciary responsibility to safeguard the assets of the plaintiff.
The plaintiff's counsel sought to obtain copies of his accounts at Leon Frazer, in November 2015, and the firm's Chief Compliance Officer, Esida Selfo, represented and confirmed, both orally and in emails, that she had retrieved, from firm archives, 14 to 16 boxes of files and documents, pertaining to the plaintiff. Selfo assured counsel that it would be receiving copies of all documents.
Subsequently to the failure of Leon Frazer to produce the relevant documents and files, notwithstanding its prior repeated promises, and undertaking that it would comply, only a small number of documents were made available to counsel, and these were now represented to be the sum total of the files of the plaintiff. Obviously, this is not only a violation of discovery procedures, but verges upon Obstruction of Justice. The document produced do not even cover a fraction of the period during which the plaintiff held accounts at Leon Frazer.
Ms. Selfo's position, as Chief Compliance Officer at Leon Frazer, was terminated, allegedly due to her " serious illness," or "pregnancy"*, and counsels' efforts to secure the documents promised to them were answered then by a new employee (joined 2016), Alexander Adeniyi, who identified himself as her successor, and as the individual who would be handling the matter. Calls from counsel to Leon Frazer executives were universally ignored.
|Chief compliance Officer Adeniyi|
Taking into account the facts that you have just read, explain how Compliance Officer Adeniyi then files a detailed affidavit, controverting his predecessor's statements, and claiming that she was mistaken, regarding the books and records, stated that the small quantity of records produced were the sum total of what the company found. In truth and in fact, the affidavit is obviously untrue, given the other verified information on hand, and is either perjury, or failure to conduct due diligence, if the facts were concealed from the compliance officer, by Leon Frazer, and he signed a sworn affidavit, containing material misstatements of fact.
Spoliation of evidence occurs when it is intentionally withheld, hidden, fabricated, altered or destroyed. I will let readers who are lawyers decide which category to place Leon Frazer & Associates in, but, clearly, there are issues of honesty and truth, or the lack thereof.
We shall continue to follow the progress in the litigation, and report back to our readers upon all developments, as they occur, and are reflected in court filings.
* First, Leon Frazer staff stated that Ms. Selfo left her employment due to a serious illness; later, the allegation changed; it was stated that she left due to a pregnancy. The circumstances of her departure appear to be suspicious.