Barry Wilson reflects on the Earl Jones scandal
Published Friday, July 31, 2009 1:46PM EDT
Earl Jones' monthly spending: $70,000
Earl Jones' bail: $30,000
The cost in anguish to his friends and clients: Incalculable.
You know it's not right. Thirty-thousand dollars for a get-out-of-jail card... that's peanuts. Bail for Bernard Madoff was $10 million.
It's even more insulting to the people who lost their savings to hear that Jones spent more in a month than most people make in a year.
Wining, dining, and travelling. The best hotels. How can you spend $70,000 in a month?
What's worse, we found out this week that Jones saw it coming.
He cashed in all of his personal investments last January while his clients were left in the dark waiting and wondering.
The fox, it seems indeed, was in the henhouse.
Investigators have found less than $50,000s left in 60 corporate accounts.
And $30,000 is all it takes to regain his liberty.
Of course, this is Canada, where we have an international reputation for being soft on white collar crime
Look at Vincent Lacroix, free after serving one sixth of his sentence.
Look at Conrad Black jailed in the states for fraud but never charged in Canada.
White collar crimes are not considered as serious in Canada because they are not considered violent.
To steal someone's life savings seems pretty violent to me. To leave trusting seniors without a penny is violent. This whole thing smacks of violence.
If he is found guilty-- and remember he is still innocent until proven guilty-- the courts must sentence Jones in keeping in mind the damage done.
Yes it was a violent crime.
But adversity can bring out the best in people. A couple of weeks ago we told you the story on a brother and sister from Chateauguay who were clients of Jones, and who were in danger of losing their home because their property taxed hadn't been paid. After airing their story a viewer came forward with the money to pay the taxes.
This person doesn't want publicity.
In a story of marked by greed and heartbreak, sometimes, just sometimes, you can find a ray of light.