Toronto police farce: Part 2
In the finale to a story that’s been making headlines, detective Garry Carter reveals what he believes to be the real reason the biggest mob sting in Canadian history died a premature fate: to keep the investigation of Susan Eng from ever becoming public
BY Derek Finkle November 25, 2010 00:11
Related Reading:After coordinating a secret, year-long investigation involving Susan Eng, then the head of Toronto’s Police Services Board, Intelligence Unit detective Garry Carter was, by the spring of 1992, eager to begin pursuing some bona fide criminals.
Toronto Police Farce: Part 1
Toronto Police Farce: Part 1
Having used surveillance, undercover operatives and wiretaps — some of which exceeded the boundaries of their judicial authorization — on both Eng and her friend and unofficial advisor, criminal lawyer Peter Maloney, Carter and his fellow officers hadn’t been able to catch Eng engaged in any illegal activity, but there was still some lingering concern about Maloney.
Maloney’s telephone lines, Carter had quickly discovered, were frequently used to contact known drug dealers. In the end, however, Carter and his fellow investigators realized that it wasn’t Maloney buying and selling drugs; it was friends who had regular access to his telephones. According to a report authored by Carter on March 30, 1992, the investigation of Maloney had been ordered by his superiors, including Superintendent Julian Fantino, six months before Fantino left Toronto to become the chief of police in London, Ontario. Carter says Fantino was concerned that the head of the Police Services Board was friends with a man who’d been charged a decade earlier for being one of about 300 men rounded up during Toronto’s infamous gay bathhouse raids in 1981. By the time Carter wrote his 1992 report, he was ready to leave the Maloney-Eng investigation to other detectives and move on to the more than 50 drug traffickers — including well-known Toronto organized crime figures Eddie Melo and Peter Scarcella, the latter of whom was reputed to be one of southern Ontario’s most powerful mobsters — Carter had stumbled onto through the various interceptions of Maloney’s telephone lines.
Beginning October 28, 1991, Carter had obtained judicial wiretap authorizations for the 50 suspected drug traffickers, a list that initially included Maloney and grew as the investigation gathered steam. As a result of the success of these ever-expanding wiretaps, Carter says, the investigation, dubbed Project Atom, received a great deal of financial support from Criminal Intelligence Service Ontario (CISO), an advisory unit for police agencies across the province that was funded by the Policing Services Division of Ontario’s Ministry of the Solicitor General. From June 1992 until the end of 1994, in excess of $2 million of Ontario taxpayers’ money was funnelled to Project Atom to fight organized crime. Carter now admits, however, that he was advised by his former boss at the Toronto police force’s Intelligence Unit, Inspector Ron Sandelli, to omit the names of Susan Eng and Peter Maloney from the funding applications.
Carter, likely the most experienced undercover officer on the Toronto force at the time, decided to use some of the CISO money to do what he figured he could do best — infiltrate the mob. Utilizing an informant that he had developed ties within Scarcella’s organization, Carter managed to ingratiate himself with the mobster, who had once been the driver for notorious Toronto gangster Paul Volpe before he was slain in 1983. Carter posed as a First Nations cigarette smuggler named Grayson Carter. He managed to convince Scarcella to allow him to rent office space for his fictitious trucking company near a bakery popular with Toronto mobsters. Carter, along with four other undercover officers, began to operate Grayson Transport. They obtained a transport truck from the city’s Works Department and received special training to drive it. One of the officers would occasionally take it out for a spin on the highway to make it look like they were working.
“[Scarcella and his associates] used to come in and have coffee with us every day,” Carter would later tell the press. “Their biggest joke was what they thought was the ineptness of the police. They’d say, ‘The police have been trying to get us for years.’ They were thumbing their noses at the police all of the time, and we were right under their noses.”
Scarcella was finally arrested in December of 1994, after a carefully orchestrated sting operation. Carter claimed that Scarcella had agreed to barter some heavy construction equipment (allegedly stolen) in exchange for several hundred cases of “stolen” cigarettes — which, in fact, had been purchased from Imperial Tobacco using almost $300,000 of the funds from CISO. Once the transaction had taken place, Scarcella was charged with possession of the stolen equipment and attempting to defraud the Ontario and Canadian governments of excise and sales tax.
A few weeks later, on January 10, 1995, Scarcella’s pal, Eddie “Hurricane” Melo, a former Canadian boxing champion, was rounded up with eight others on fraud and gambling charges (Scarcella, already out on bail, was among them). Carter says the police were also preparing to lay other, drug-related charges based on evidence from wiretaps and room probes. Project Atom was hailed as a tremendous success. The day that Melo was arrested, Carter’s boss, Ron Sandelli, told the Toronto Star: “From our standpoint here in Canada, it’s as deep as we’ve ever gone [into an organized crime group].”
Peter Scarcella (left) and Eddie Melo: as part of Project Atom, the mobsters were arrested in early 1995 on fraud and gambling charges — leading one senior police officer to remark that “it’s as deep as we’ve ever gone [into an organized crime group.]” Those charges later disappeared under mysterious circumstances
As it turned out, this was the full extent of the positive press Project Atom would receive.
In the months following these arrests, Carter claims he was preparing the case against Scarcella for court and drafting new charges to add to the existing ones. He also, at the age of 47, decided to take one of the buyout packages being offered as part of cost-cutting efforts on the Toronto police force, effective March 31, 1995, but said he would see his Project Atom cases through to trial.
Yet, despite this assurance, the charges against Scarcella and most other targets of Project Atom were withdrawn in late 1995. Sandelli and Detective Sergeant Margo Boyd, Carter’s immediate supervisor on Project Atom since the genesis of the undercover portion of the investigation in 1993, both lay the blame for this squarely at Carter’s feet. Sandelli and Boyd claim Carter didn’t complete the necessary affidavits and other paperwork required for the various prosecutions. Boyd, who now lives in Edmonton, where her husband, Mike, is the chief of police, told me in late 2007 that the Crown attorney overseeing the Atom cases, Michael Leshner, pulled the charges because the cases hadn’t been properly prepared. “We took everything Garry ever gave us to the Crown,” says Boyd, “and I was told it wasn’t enough. [Leshner] went into the courtroom and read a statement on the record, I believe, to withdraw [the charges].”
When contacted recently, Leshner, who’s now retired, confirmed that he did indeed withdraw the charges and gave detailed reasons for doing so, some of which were on the record. “I was very concerned that I was being stonewalled by an investigating police officer [Carter] and wanted to make sure that the public had every confidence that a Crown attorney had moved heaven and earth to move the prosecution along and that it was a police problem,” says Leshner. “The backdrop [of this] is all police, not Crown attorney. It’s all police.”
There’s little, if anything, to dispute Leshner’s assertion that this was almost entirely a police problem. And two police camps state clear, but opposing, positions. The first is the one espoused by Boyd and others: that Carter, for whatever reason, didn’t fulfill his disclosure obligations as the investigating officer and Project Atom fell apart as a result.
The other side of this he-said-she-said scenario is, of course, Carter’s, whose view is that he was stonewalled by police brass in his attempts to prepare the case. He says that, as early as May 1995, he supplied a Project Atom detective with a list of files he would need to complete his affidavits for this complex, four-year investigation but didn’t hear from anyone overseeing the case again until August 31, 1995.
By October, Carter was starting to become suspicious — and frustrated. First, he was refused access to his daily memo books (which, as part of standard procedure, remained police property subsequent to his retirement). Carter said they were crucial to the completion of his affidavits. Plus, when he was given access to some of the files he’d requested, it was on a computer at a police station an hour’s drive from his house. Boyd, in an act of desperation, had put an affidavit together that was a patchwork of statements provided from the memo books of other officers involved in Project Atom (something Boyd acknowledged in my interview with her). Acting Inspector Vaughan O’Toole, who’d taken on the job of dealing with Carter because of the tension Boyd says existed between her and the retired detective, met with Carter and asked him to sign the document she’d pieced together. Carter refused.
Around that time, Carter began recording many of his telephone conversations with O’Toole and other officers who were still involved with Project Atom, recordings he’s given me access to for this story. These tapes raise legitimate questions about who was responsible for stonewalling the prosecution.
In one such conversation from October 1995, for instance, O’Toole asks Carter if he can say how long it would take him to prepare his statement:
CARTER: No, I can’t because, as I told you before, I could sit at that computer, Vaughan, from now until the 16th of November and I still wouldn’t be able to get my statement done by then. It’s an impossibility. I’ve told everyone consistently, since I met with your guys in August, that if I was given [the materials] on a full-time basis, unrestricted, and I sat there and did nothing else, it would take me two months to do it. On a part-time basis, I said it would take a minimum of four months. That would have taken us from September to January.
O’TOOLE: OK, let’s take this hypothesis, then. How about a verbal statement — on tape — that’s subsequently transcribed?
CARTER: Then I’d have to sit there and read everything off the computer.
O’TOOLE: Well, you’re not going to have to read everything. I mean, you’ve got a pretty good handle on this investigation.
CARTER: You want me to sit and record a statement?
O’TOOLE: No, no. I’m just offering this as a hypothesis.
CARTER: Listen, Vaughan, I want to talk to the Crown attorney [Leshner]. He’s going to prosecute this case. I want to be certain he knows what’s going on and what has to be done. I’m not going to operate on what-ifs and hypotheses. I want to sit down with the prosecuting Crown attorney, so that when we present this case, it’s presented properly. There’s been all kinds of roadblocks put in the way of presenting this case. There’s all kinds of charges that have never been laid.
O’TOOLE: Listen, that’s water under the bridge right now.
CARTER: Maybe it’s water under the bridge but it’s still all going to have to come out because it’s all part of those affidavits. I wish someone would sit down and read my affidavits. They’re on the computer. Take the time to sit down and read them and then maybe you’ll get a handle on what we’re dealing with here.
O’TOOLE: I know it’s quite detailed, Garry.
CARTER: Then sit down and do it. But until I can sit down and talk to the Crown attorney, I will act on his instruction after he talks to me and he is made aware of the complexity of this case…. This is getting totally out of hand. That stupid thing you brought in here from Margo Boyd, that thing she constructed from everyone else’s memo books. Come on, Vaughan, let’s be professional. Let’s do the proper job on it and give me the tools to do the job. That’s all I’m asking for — nothing else. I’m afraid the Crown isn’t fully aware of what he’s dealing with. I don’t know if that’s because he’s not being told or if it’s because of inexperience. I don’t know. But people are slamming doors in my face. I don’t like it and I want to have that opportunity to discuss it…. I put this thing together and to now be shut out and left on the outside is craziness.
O’TOOLE: Well, we certainly don’t want that, Garry. We want the matter prosecuted. You have to understand my situation. I’m in the middle here.
CARTER: I understand completely. I don’t know who you’re dealing with and who you’re getting your instructions from but let’s face it, there’s only one word to describe this whole thing and that’s ludicrous.
O’Toole told Carter he would be in touch with Leshner, but Carter decided to take matters into his own hands. Shortly after this conversation, Carter made recordings of his own attempts to reach Leshner by phone, leaving at least one message with his receptionist. Carter says Leshner never called him; Leshner told me that he had no recollection of ever speaking with Carter, though he says he was very much hoping to.
When Carter heard about the charges being withdrawn against Scarcella, Melo and the others in December of 1995, he says he was livid. (Melo was later killed in a 2001 gangland slaying; Scarcella is currently serving a nine-year prison sentence as a result of his role in a gunfight in 2004.) For months, Carter had been calling his former colleagues on the force, along with Leshner and Fergus O’Donnell, the federal Crown attorney Carter says had been involved throughout Project Atom, to get to the bottom of why matters were being handled the way they were. (In another conversation with O’Toole, Carter implores him to set up a meeting between Leshner, himself and O’Donnell to “resolve this” because, otherwise, Carter says, “it’s going to be the silliest prosecution in history and we’re going to look like a bunch of asses. So stop treating me like a leper and let’s set up a meeting with the Crown attorney.”)
Carter also had his tape recorder on when he was speaking to one of the Project Atom detectives he’d worked with closely, John Beswick, an experienced surveillance officer who’s now retired. After the charges had been dropped, Beswick told Carter that “it smacks of cover-up” before alleging that Boyd had ordered the destruction of a number of wiretap tapes from Project Atom.
CARTER: [Boyd] had tapes destroyed, didn’t she?
BESWICK: Yeah, work tapes, yeah.
CARTER: So she had tapes destroyed before there was even a decision on whether they were going to proceed with [the case] or not, so obviously she’d already made her mind up.
BESWICK: Yeah, she had the tapes destroyed.
When I spoke to Beswick more than 10 years later, in 2007, and asked if documents and wiretap tapes had been destroyed, he wasn’t quite as clear. “I think so,” he said. “I think that was happening. I can’t say for sure.”
But what Beswick did recall in great detail was how people wanted to distance themselves from Atom. “It was like rats leaving a sinking ship,” he said. “They just wanted it to go away.”
After Carter left, Beswick says there were about 300 wiretapped conversations he wanted transcripts of. When he requested them, he was told they hadn’t been transcribed. “So then I went to Margo Boyd and said I need to have these for preparing the case,” Beswick told me. “She said, ‘John, we just want Atom to die a natural death.’ She told me that in the hallway at Intelligence.”
When I mentioned this to Boyd, she said, “I don’t recall that conversation. That was a project that had gone on for years, and I was very interested in seeing that something came out of it.”
As for the destruction of tapes, Boyd responded to the allegations by saying, “I don’t know. A lot of the tapes were in Italian, and so they had translators, people in the wiretaps who spoke Italian.” So while Boyd herself denies destroying any evidence, she didn’t seem to be closing the door on the possibility that it might have happened.
Carter responded to the Crown’s decision to withdraw the charges against Scarcella from the sting involving the cigarettes by writing a letter to Ontario’s assistant deputy attorney general at the time, Michael Code. In his four-page missive, dated December 17, 1995, Carter pleads for the ministries of the Attorney General and Solicitor General to launch an investigation in order to get to the bottom of why evidence was destroyed and why the prosecution of Scarcella hadn’t proceeded as planned. If that didn’t get Code’s attention, Carter also alleged that his former superiors at Intelligence had improperly diverted CISO funds intended for Project Atom to other investigations (a claim that Sandelli, now the director of team safety for the Toronto Blue Jays, conceded to me in a 1997 interview “might have some good points”).
When contacted in the fall of 2007, Code, who’s now a judge with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, said that he remembered Garry Carter but had no recollection of his 1995 letter. (A spokesman for Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General declined to carry out a request to search through its files for it.) Though it appears to have nothing to do with Code, there was, unbeknownst to Carter, a forthcoming investigation into Project Atom. In fact, it was reportedly launched in early 1996, just weeks after Carter had penned his letter, which had also been copied to Toronto’s chief of police, David Boothby, and Vaughan O’Toole. It had one of Atom’s senior officers in its crosshairs, but this person wasn’t Julian Fantino or Ron Sandelli or even Margo Boyd. It was Garry Carter.
Julian Fantino (left), Mike McCormack and Billy McCormack: the McCormack brothers got caught in the crossfire of Fantino’s war on corruption in the force. Though they were both completely exonerated of any wrongdoing, it led to a full-blown feud between Fantino and McCormack Sr., two men who were once unified in their distrust of Susan Eng
Carter wouldn’t find out about this investigation for another year and a half when, in late September of 1997, he was arrested on charges that he’d diverted $47,000 of the CISO funds intended for Project Atom to his own personal bank accounts.
His initial reaction was that this was a form of payback from his former colleagues for penning the letter to Code. Carter also thought it was possible that he’d become the scapegoat his old Intelligence Unit had created to explain to CISO what had gone wrong with Project Atom.
News of the charges came as a shock to his former boss, Sandelli, who’d retired from the Toronto police force six months after Carter. “I find it hard to believe that this has happened,” Sandelli said in a press interview at the time. Years later, he told me that “Garry never displayed the lifestyle of someone who would spend money that way. He wore the same clothes every day. He didn’t drink. He didn’t smoke.”
Sandelli also defended the possibility that Project Atom money had made it into Carter’s personal bank accounts: “When you’re running an undercover project, you may very well be using your own bank account.”
A forensic audit of Project Atom had determined that, of the $2.1 million in funding it had received, about $560,000 was paid out directly to Carter. By all accounts, Carter was less than thorough when it came to reconciling the numerous payments he received, either with receipts or a letter of explanation when a receipt wasn’t available.
Carter’s dismal accounting skills didn’t come as much of a surprise to John Irwin, a detective recently retired from the Toronto police who was one of the officers working under Carter on Project Atom. Irwin, who was brought on board by Sandelli to play the role of a gay drug buyer in order to gather evidence against Peter Maloney and his associates, says he has trouble believing Carter would steal. The more likely problem, Irwin feels, was that Carter was a “dig-in-the-dirt investigator” as opposed to a “detail guy,” and that he’d had difficulty keeping track of multiple identities, vehicles, apartments and bank accounts over the course of a complex, prolonged undercover operation.
“Does it really make sense that a guy whose ego was so wrapped up in getting bad guys would steal $47,000?” asks Irwin. “Given the kind of money Carter was dealing with, it almost certainly boils down to bad handling. My speculation is that he didn’t intentionally steal that money.”
Irwin’s take on Carter’s misdeed wasn’t too far from the explanation Carter offered in court during his sentencing hearing on September 17, 2002, when he told the court that responsibilities on Project Atom had been “overwhelming.” “I’m not an accountant,” he said. “I never set out to take the money.” Nevertheless, Carter was sentenced to serve a year of house arrest and was ordered to repay the $47,000.
If this sentence seems light, it’s because Carter and his lawyer had worked out a plea arrangement shortly after a meeting with a senior Crown attorney based in Brampton named Stephen Sherriff. Carter and his lawyer, Gary Clewley, met with Sherriff at his office in January 2002. In failing health (Carter’s back problems were largely responsible for the lengthy delays in getting his case before a judge) and hoping to protect his long-time partner from the negative publicity of a trial, Carter expressed his willingness to plead guilty.
Sherriff and Carter both agree that Sherriff came on strong in the meeting, accusing Carter of conducting a corrupt investigation designed to bilk CISO and asking a lot of accusatory questions about how funds had been dispersed. Sherriff also recalls Carter defending himself by bringing up the fact that he’d been ordered to conduct a dubious investigation of Susan Eng that had involved unlawful wiretapping. Carter now says that part of his decision to plead guilty was based on Sherriff’s assurance that despite being a “good friend” of Julian Fantino’s, he would look into the matter and investigate any misconduct, particularly by his friend, who was then the chief of Toronto’s police force. Sherriff, however, told me in early 2008 that he “vehemently denies” making any such promise, saying that “it would make no sense” for him to launch a criminal investigation based on Carter’s word when Sherriff says he “had no use for his word.”
Carter claims he then told Sherriff what he believed was the real reason for Project Atom’s failure.
“You’re a Crown attorney,” Carter recalls telling Sherriff. “Think about what happens if you prosecute Scarcella and Melo. What happens if the defendants bring a motion to go into those wiretap authorizations, which they have a right to do, and they open them? Whose name is going to be found in those authorizations as someone Peter Maloney was speaking to? Susan Eng’s. The chief and those beneath him never wanted those authorizations opened. They never wanted to go to court. It was too embarrassing. They never caught Susan Eng doing anything dirty. If they had, every single one of those organized-crime targets would have been prosecuted. And that’s the real reason Project Atom died; it had nothing to do with me.”
Sherriff says Carter never mentioned any such “big conspiracy theory.” “That would have stuck out in my mind,” says Sherriff. “That’s a world-class allegation — that the police force was sabotaging an organized crime project and deliberately ripping off CISO for millions. I would have wanted to follow up on that.”
Stories of police corruption were so common around the time of Carter’s sentencing in 2002 that his guilty plea didn’t get as much attention as it might otherwise have.
In the following day’s news, his case was overshadowed by the start of the “fink fund” trial, in which two Toronto officers were defending themselves against charges that they’d stolen less than $1,000 from a fund used to pay off snitches. Similar cases involving Toronto police officers snowballed over the next two years during Fantino’s term as chief (from 2000 to 2005); eventually, things got so bad that Toronto Mayor David Miller would famously comment to his visiting counterpart from London, England, “Is your police force in jail? Mine is.”
Among the incidents that caused Miller to make this quip, two involved sons of former chief William McCormack Sr., who retired in 1995. In May 2004, William “Billy” McCormack Jr., then a 28-year veteran of the Toronto police force, was criminally charged, along with three other officers, in relation to an alleged kickback scheme in which bar owners in the city’s entertainment district paid officers in return for tips about pending enforcement initiatives. A week earlier, Billy’s younger brother, Mike, a detective-constable who’d recently been elected to the police union board, had been charged under the Police Services Act for allegedly having inappropriate links to a cocaine addict and car thief who died from an overdose.
The palpable tension this situation created between McCormack Sr. and Fantino, men who were once unified in their mistrust of Susan Eng, turned into a remarkably public feud. The bad blood only intensified when the cases against both McCormack brothers failed to yield a single conviction. Billy’s marathon pretrial hearings finally came to a close on August 3 of this year when the Crown withdrew all outstanding criminal charges against him; his brother Mike was acquitted in early 2006 of any wrongdoing.
When Carter’s 1992 report about the investigation of Eng and Maloney was leaked to the CBC in the spring of 2007, it was openly speculated that this then-15-year-old document had been made public in order to discredit Fantino. Who would want to do that? There were quite a few Toronto police officers facing charges who would have been motivated to discredit Fantino at the time, including those in the pro-McCormack camp. But despite an investigation (albeit a fairly cursory one) into the source of the leak in 2007 by the current chief, Bill Blair, the identity of the person who leaked Carter’s 1992 report remains unknown. Carter, who insists he wasn’t the source, says he left a signed copy of the report at the Intelligence Unit when he began to focus on the undercover portion of Project Atom.
If whoever was behind the leak of Carter’s 1992 report did it out of support for the McCormacks, Stephen Sherriff, the Crown attorney who oversaw the prosecution of Carter eight years ago, believes the move will ultimately backfire. “Carter never, ever told me he met with Chief McCormack about any of this,” he says, referring to McCormack’s admission to me that he’d read Carter’s report during a meeting with Carter and Intelligence inspector Sandelli, which was outlined in part one of this EYE WEEKLY series last week. “Carter never told me he’d had meetings with Fantino, either. What the hell is a lowly detective doing meeting with the chief of police? That suggests a black ops or covert operation…. That meeting verifies Carter’s story in a huge way. But I have no idea why he didn’t bring that up during our meeting in 2002.”
At the time of our interview, in 2008, Sherriff mused that wiretaps had become a contentious issue in the case being heard then involving chief McCormack’s son Billy. He obviously believed that a leaked document that connected Fantino to a similarly questionable use of wiretaps had a specific and malicious intent. “What a strange moment in history [for someone] to leak wiretap problems to the universe,” Sherriff told me. “I don’t see it as a coincidence. I regard it as a suicidal mission to accomplish god knows what.”
THE INVISIBLE MAN
Garry Carter is one of the most decorated undercover officers in the history of Canadian policing. After joining the force as a motorcycle cop in 1966, he quickly rose through the ranks and was recruited in 1976 to work on a wiretap investigation of Jamaican pimps and drug traffickers — a case that led to the largest-ever seizure of cocaine in Canada up to that point. Here, some highlights of a career spent fooling the bad guys:
Officer in charge of the organized crime investigation centred on Hy’s Restaurant in Yorkville. Approximately 45 to 50 people charged; largest seizure of coke in Canada to that point.
Posed undercover in an investigation of Satan’s Choice, Para Dice Riders and Vagabonds. Resulted in numerous arrests for drugs and weapons offences.
Officer in charge of undercover investigation into nine unsolved homicides in Toronto’s gay community. Led to the infamous bathhouse raids (total arrests — around 300 — was largest number since the implementation of the War Measures Act).
Officer in charge of the Rowbotham drug investigation. Approximately 50 people charged. Resulted in the largest seizure of marijuana and hashish in Canada to that point and the first life sentence for drug importing in the state of Maine.
Officer in charge of Jamaican Organized Crime Squad; led to multiple arrests for drugs and weapons offences. Also that year, officer in charge of the Patrick Mancini kidnapping case, in which Mancini, godfather of the North Bay mafia, was abducted by four people and held for ransom. Carter and other officers rescued him from the trunk of a car near Toronto.
Officer in charge of both the Combined Forces Biker Enforcement Unit and Outlaws Motorcycle Gang investigation. Wiretap and undercover work led to the arrests of 84 Outlaws members in Ontario and Quebec — the largest biker investigation and arrest to that point.
Transferred to the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit. Officer in charge of Project Orcus, an investigation of the mafia in Toronto and Montreal.
Started the Maloney-Eng investigation, then focused on Project Atom in the fall of 1991 until his retirement on March 31, 1995.
Posed as a hitman during the investigation of Peter Gassyt and Arnold Markowitz, who allegedly hired Carter to kill a business associate. Both men were convicted on a sole count of conspiracy to commit murder in 1993. Five years later, the Ontario Court of Appeal set aside all verdicts from the case and ordered a new trial; the case was never retried.