Canada - Barry, 75, & Honey Sherman, 70, found dead, Toronto, 15 Dec 2017 #14

Discussion in 'Crimes in the News' started by dotr, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. ldlager

    ldlager Well-Known Member

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    Is there a mechanism under Canadian law by which the contents of some or all of the estate documents (wills etc) could be withheld by the family from disclosure to the police? Would solicitor client privilege trump LE’s right to obtain this information?
    Perhaps Misty or others familiar with the legal system could comment please.
     


  2. Tighthead

    Tighthead Well-Known Member

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    A will is not a privileged document. The solicitor’s file would be. The executor(s) could waive that privilege. Otherwise police need a warrant.

    I was once present when a search warrant was served on a law firm (for a specific file, nothing to do with the lawyers’ conduct). Talk about fireworks.
     
  3. ldlager

    ldlager Well-Known Member

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    Thank you.
    Hypothetical example:
    - HS visits her lawyer and revises her will shortly before her death
    - HS instructs her lawyer to hold original will and there are no copies
    - the will names one of her children as Executor
    - upon the death of HS, the lawyer advises the executor that she ( the lawyer) is holding the original copy of the will, and that the child is the executor.

    Questions:
    1. Are any or all of the will and the lawyers files and notes subject to lawyer client privilege if she has all these documents in her possession?
    2. Can the executor request that the lawyer retain possession of the will, and not take possession of the will?
    2. Is the executor under any obligation to provide LE with the details of the will or a copy of the will?
    3. Can LE force production of the legal file documents and/or the Will by getting a warrant?
     
  4. branmuffin

    branmuffin Well-Known Member

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    I used to work for a large police organization. I remember there was a situation where a new hire had been issued a badge number that had an 'unlucky' digit in it (badge numbers are issued sequentially as recruits come in). His parents wrote a letter to the Commissioner and asked that his number be changed. They accommodated the request, mainly because it was difficult to get Asians on the police force since many immigrants view police as corrupt in their own countries.
     
  5. Tighthead

    Tighthead Well-Known Member

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    The will has to be filed in court.

    The executor has an obligation to move the estate forward. If they don’t file in a timely manner beneficiaries will issue a citation compelling them to file the will.

    All beneficiaries have to be provided with a copy. It’s not hard for police to see it.

    I’m pretty sure police can get a warrant if they meet the usual requirements.
     
  6. MistyWaters

    MistyWaters Well-Known Member

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    If the SCC unseals the Estate Files, considering only Wills which required Probate become Court filings, I don’t think it’s going release a bombshell of incriminating information.

    This security filing below is from 2011, indicating Barry had already established a Trust in year 2000. Trusts do not require Probate (and therefore do not become Court filings available for public disclosure) upon the death of the Trustee. People often have two separate Wills as well, one which requires Probate and one which does not. Only the Will requiring Probate is filed with the Court (often involving property registered with Land Titles) and so the 2nd Will including unregistered assets is not filed with the Court and therefore is private.

    So if it’s presumed what KD wants unsealed is going to lay out the entire wealth of each of the Shermans, including a complete accounting of what each and every of the beneficiaries received, then from that it’ll lead to an ‘aha moment‘ revealing the identity of the killer, I think they’ll be disappointed. In all likelihood the portion of the Estates which required Probate will represent only a small and incomplete glimpse within the entire Sherman Estate.

    For us common folk, our Wills are most often fairly simplistic - so and so gets this much and so and so gets that. But that’s far beyond legal estate planning opportunities available to the wealthy, primary objective is to avoid eroding the estate by costly probate fees and capital gains tax.

    JMO


    BBM

    Bernard Sherman 2000 Trust 2011 Security Ownership Statement Form 3
    Remarks:
    The convertible promissory notes and warrants are owned directly by Sherfam Inc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Shermco Inc., which is 35% owned by The Bernard Sherman 2000 Trust ("Sherman Trust") and 65% owned by Sherman Holdings Inc., which is 100% owned by Bernard C. Sherman, who has voting and dispositive control, as sole trustee, of the Sherman Trust as the sole stockholder of Sherman Holdings Inc.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
    MajorHoople, JDG, deugirtni and 2 others like this.
  7. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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  8. JayFriend

    JayFriend Well-Known Member

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  9. Sherlockhemlock

    Sherlockhemlock Well-Known Member

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    Why are they pushing to have them sealed?
     
  10. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    2018
    Judge seals estate files of murder victims Barry and Honey Sherman to protect heirs | National Post
    ''The risk of harm is foreseeable and the foreseeable harm is grave,' said Ontario Superior Court Judge Sean Dunphy in a highly unusual sealing order''

    ''TORONTO — The estate files dealing with the inheritance of Barry and Honey Sherman, the billionaire couple murdered in their Toronto home a year ago, are sealed by a rare court order to preserve the “privacy and dignity” of the victims and to protect the heirs from possible violence from the couple’s unknown killer or killers.

    “The willingness of the perpetrator(s) of the crimes to resort to extreme violence to pursue whatever motive existed has been amply demonstrated. The risk of harm is foreseeable and the foreseeable harm is grave,” wrote Ontario Superior Court Judge Sean Dunphy in a highly unusual sealing order.''
     
  11. Tighthead

    Tighthead Well-Known Member

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    The thing is most of Barry’s wealth would have been covered in his non-probatable will, assuming reports of him using that strategy are accurate.
     
  12. MistyWaters

    MistyWaters Well-Known Member

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    I think the Sherman Estate makes a very valid point in this SCC appeal. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me that in Canada, only probated Wills become public record and non-probated Wills, Trusts or other financial assets naming a beneficiary are confidential.

    In the Sherman case, if the contents of the Probated File are released by the media I can guess the headlines - So-and-so was disinherited! But without access to the full Estate file including any non-probated estate transfers, that’s not an accurate conclusion. However I suspect KD isn’t concerned about that. JMO

    BBM

    https://www.scc-csc.ca/WebDocuments...man-and-the-Trustees-of-the-Estate-et-al..pdf
    THE ESTATE OF BERNARD SHERMAN AND THE TRUSTEES OF THE ESTATE, and THE ESTATE OF HONEY SHERMAN AND THE TRUSTEES OF THE ESTATE
    - and –
    KEVIN DONOVAN

    “....
    58. As recognized by the Application Judge, “[t]here is no requirement to seek probate of a will in Ontario and, when sought, probate is not normally a litigious matter. This single fact sets court files in estate matters quite apart from the great bulk of court proceedings.” (*71) As a practical matter, probate is necessary in some circumstances, such that individuals are not able to choose to safeguard their privacy by avoiding the probate process entirely. As a practical matter, probate is necessary in some circumstances, such that individuals are not able to choose to safeguard their privacy by avoiding the probate process entirely. For instance, in Ontario, probate is generally required in order to transfer real property registered in the Land Titles system. (*72) Third parties such as banks often require probate in order to benefit from a statutory protection against potential liability (*73).

    59. Moreover, “[t]he progress of estates files is fundamentally administrative in nature in most cases” (*74). A probate application generally requires only a will (to the extent one has been
    identified), proof of death, notice to estate beneficiaries, and a statement of the value of the assets dealt with by the will. Estate administration tax is then paid upon filing the application, and a Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee will typically be issued (*75).

    60. Finally, the relevance of probate in our time is limited given that most property passes on death outside of the probate process.
    As noted by the Application Judge: (i) the use of dual wills (i.e. both a “primary will” and “secondary will”) enables some assets to be dealt with privately by one will (that is not probated), and other assets for which probate is likely needed to be dealt with by another probated will; and (ii) joint tenancy and inter vivos trusts enable assets to pass outside the probate process altogether (*76). In addition, much of the wealth in modern Canada passes under life insurance policies and registered plans (such as RRSPs, RRIFs and TSFAs), in accordance with written designations that can be completely outside the probate process. Most tellingly, these designations are provided for by legislation, indicating a public policy in favour of privacy and lack of any public interest in disclosure of these matters (*77)......”
     
  13. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    Yom Kippur - The Day of Atonement


    ''Yom Kippur 2020 (the Day of Atonement): September 27–28
    Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year—the day on which we are closest to G‑d and to the quintessence of our own souls. It is the Day of Atonement—“For on this day He will forgive you, to purify you, that you be cleansed from all your sins before G‑d” (Leviticus 16:30).''

    Wondering if others wonder if the perp is inclined to honour this particular day - and now feels ''cleansed of sin'', or if the perp is from a different background altogether?
    speculation, imo.
     
  14. WINDSOR

    WINDSOR Well-Known Member

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    A secular definition of atonement; satisfaction or reparation for a wrong or injury; amends.

    According to wikipedia;
    In Rabbinic Judaism, atonement is achieved through repentance, which can be followed by some combination of the following:
    • confession
    • restitution
    • the occurrence of Yom Kippur (the day itself, as distinct from the Temple service performed on it)
    • tribulations (unpleasant life experiences)
    • the experience of dying.
    • the carrying out of a sentence of lashes or execution imposed by an ordained court (not now in existence)
    • Temple service (not now in existence, e.g. bringing a sacrifice).
    Which of these additions are required varies according to the severity of the sin, whether it was done willfully, in error, or under duress, whether it was against God alone or also against a fellow person, and whether the Temple service and ordained law courts are in existence or not. Repentance is needed in all cases of willful sin, and restitution is always required in the case of sin against a fellow person, unless the wronged party waives it.

    At minimun the perpetrator(s) must repent (confess) (admit).

    Let us hope so.
     
    FromGermany, Lexiintoronto and dotr like this.
  15. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    Sept 30 2020
    Cops did not access Apotex founder Barry Sherman’s office until four weeks after the murders of Sherman and his wife Honey
    By Kevin Donovan

    ''Toronto Police were not allowed to access murder victim Barry Sherman’s office at Apotex headquarters until a month after the generic drug titan and his wife were killed, a Star investigation reveals.

    That means homicide detectives and forensic officers were in the dark regarding the billionaire’s computer and paper files, the contents of his desk drawers or anything else in his office at 150 Signet Drive during this time.''

    Report: Police couldn't access Barry Sherman's office until four weeks after his death
    Sept 30 2020
    rbbm.
    [​IMG]
    ''December will mark three years since Barry and Honey Sherman were found strangled to death in their North York mansion.

    There have been no arrests.

    But a new report from the Toronto Star details a legal fight between investigators and Barry Sherman's drug company.

    It reportedly took police four weeks to get access to Sherman's office at Apotex but a police spokesperson tells the Star they do not believe the delay compromised the investigation.

    During the delay police would not have had access to Sherman's files, his computer or his desk drawers.

    Sherman's last known email came from his office on December 13, 2017 just after 8 p.m. He would have been dead in his home by midnight.

    The Star reports a judge issued a production order for Apotex on January 15th.''
     
  16. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    In separate, but somewhat related news, the guy who allegedly conned Barry Sherman is out of circulation for awhile..
    Rom-con artist gets six years for bilking woman of life savings | Toronto Sun
    Sept 30 2020
    ''A Toronto-area con artist has been handed a six-year sentence for defrauding a woman of her life savings.
    In jailing Shaun Rootenberg today, the judge said the accused had shown no remorse for his destructive behaviour.''

    Fraudster surfaces in Sherman case | Toronto Sun
    Liz Braun Jan 27, 2018
    ''Thornhill fraudster Shaun Rootenberg — aka Shaun Rothberg — has defrauded family, friends and business associates out of millions of dollars over the years.
    Now it’s alleged the convicted scam artist may even have cheated murdered billionaire Barry Sherman.

    CBC’s The Fifth Estate is reporting that on the day he was last seen alive, Sherman filed suit against Shaun Rootenberg (and others) for their role in allegedly pocketing $150,000 he had invested with them.

    The notoriously litigious Sherman and his wife were murdered in December, but no one is suggesting any connection between that event and the Rootenberg lawsuit''.
     
  17. branmuffin

    branmuffin Well-Known Member

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    Just thought I'd post this video in case people can't access it in this article. It was first issued in December 2019.

     
  18. rickcross

    rickcross Well-Known Member

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    Why did they not just get a warrant? Again, it seems to me that LE really weren't thinking murder for at least a month after the crime.
     
  19. WINDSOR

    WINDSOR Well-Known Member

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    What I do not understand is, Apotex was being run by Barry's family and friends after his death. You would think these people would be most supportive of the TPS investigating the case. Yet at least one of these executives blocked the TPS by legal objections from Barry's office, computer and files for four weeks.

    If I were in charge at Apotex, I would have told the TPS. "You can have access to everything you want, we would just like an Apotex representative in attendence while you are doing your search, to prevent the the loss of Apotex proprietary info".

    I am pretty sure the TPS would not have a problem with that condition.
     
  20. Tighthead

    Tighthead Well-Known Member

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    If I’m a director or officer of the company, my sole fiduciary duty is to the company. I think any lawyer is going to advise that a warrant be required. You don’t want to be casual about access.

    Also the company was being run by the now departed CEO and the board. I’m not sure how many family members were in the board. We know Jack Kay was a friend, but he was a seasoned executive and would likely take a conservative approach.

    TPS had to get a warrant without delay. Very weak.

    I always dismissed the story that they initially considered it M/S because it was one source, speaking casually, rank unknown. It could have been a forensic tech. However, looking at the police action/inaction in the early days it does appear they fell behind right out of the gate.
     

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