Casino supervisor tells court that former MP became agitated over blackjack losses

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Casino supervisor tells court that former MP became agitated over blackjack losses
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Mia Rabson
Publishing date:Jun 09, 2022 • 1 day ago • 3 minute read • 26 Comments

OTTAWA — An operations supervisor at Casino Lac Leamy told an Ottawa courtroom Thursday that former Liberal MP Raj Grewal got so agitated playing blackjack four years ago, the incident was written up in a formal security report.


Grewal was charged by the RCMP in September 2020 with four counts of breach of trust and one of fraud over $5,000. His lawyer said in a written statement Thursday two of those charges were withdrawn by the Crown on Monday, the first day of Grewal’s trial.

Nader Hasan said a third charge was withdrawn before the trial began.

“The prospect of a trial has hung over Mr. Grewal’s head for a long time,” Hasan said. “We will present a vigorous defence over the coming weeks, and we feel confident that Mr. Grewal’s complete innocence on these breach of trust charges will become clear for all to see.”

The trial is being heard by a judge alone, and is expected to last until late July. Grewal, who lives in the Toronto area, was in the courtroom for the trial Thursday, sitting quietly behind his lawyers.


Grewal parted ways with the Liberals in the fall of 2018 just three years after first being elected. He sat as an Independent MP for a Brampton, Ont., riding until the 2019 election, in which he did not run.

Days after his split from the Liberals, Grewal issued a video statement in which he said he had a gambling addiction and had racked up millions of dollars in debt. He claimed the debts were all repaid, adding that nothing sinister had taken place.

The RCMP launched a criminal probe into Grewal’s gambling in 2017 after Canada’s Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre, or Fintrac, sent the RCMP some suspicious transaction reports related to Grewal.

The charges laid in September 2020 stemmed from allegations he used his position as an MP to solicit millions of dollars in loans he did not disclose to the ethics commissioner, and misused his MP office budget.


The federal ethics commissioner launched an investigation into Grewal’s disclosures in early 2018 but that investigation was suspended when the criminal charges were laid and will not resume until the case is concluded.

Grewal, 36, said in 2018 that he started gambling “recreationally” after university, and that in 2016, shortly after being elected as an MP, he began to frequent the Casino Lac Leamy in Gatineau, Que., while he stayed at the attached hotel.

He said the recreational gambling morphed into an addiction for which he sought treatment in 2018.

At the trial Thursday, Jacques Bouchard, an operations supervisor at Casino Lac Leamy, said he had seen Grewal in the casino a few times, but that on May 30, 2018, at 11:30 a.m. he witnessed Grewal playing blackjack and becoming very agitated.


He filed a security investigation report as a result of the incident. The report included some of the comments Bouchard said he overheard from Grewal, including that Grewal felt he should be winning if he got to 19 or 20 points.

“Come on, have an ace,” the report quotes Grewal as having said that day. “Take all my money.”

The report also quotes Grewal as saying, “Why didn’t I left after the first 100K?”

Under cross-examination, Hasan got Bouchard to acknowledge that the comments in quotations may not be perfectly accurate, noting a native English speaker would not have used the grammatically incorrect phrase “Why didn’t I left.”

Bouchard said that could be the case, but added English is not his first language. He testified in court with the use of an interpreter.

The trial continues next week.
 
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spaminator

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Crown probing ex-MP Raj Grewal's guest list for India receptions with Justin Trudeau
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Mia Rabson
Publishing date:Jun 13, 2022 • 11 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation

OTTAWA — Former Liberal MP Raj Grewal sent the names of 100 people he wanted to invite to receptions with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in India in 2018, and no one on his list raised any red flags with Trudeau’s staff before the trip took place, an Ottawa courtroom heard Monday.


Grewal, 36, is facing two charges of breach of trust, related to loans he sought from friends, family and other associates to help pay for a gambling habit that racked up millions of dollars in debt.

Those charges allege Grewal, using his political office, lied to obtain loans, and that he used his office to obtain loans for personal benefit.

Grewal has denied any criminal wrongdoing. In 2018, he said he had sought treatment for a gambling addiction, obtained loans only from friends and family, and that all had been repaid.

The Crown is alleging that Grewal sought the loans from people in exchange for securing them access to the India trip, or for work on immigration files.

Grewal was elected in 2015 in a Brampton, Ont., riding, but parted ways with the Liberals in 2018 as the gambling problem came to light. He sat as an independent for almost a year but did not run again in the 2019 federal election.


He was initially charged by the RCMP in September 2020 with four counts of breach of trust and one count of fraud, but only two of the breach of trust charges remain.

On Monday, as the trial began its second week, Crown attorney Tim Wightman walked a former Liberal political staffer through emails and documents that outlined the process by which MPs could invite people to events on the India trip.

Vandana Kattar Miller, who in 2018 was a senior aide to Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, served as a liaison between the Prime Minister’s Office and Liberal MPs who wanted to participate in the India tour in February 2018.

That nine-day trip was tense as Indian politicians accused Trudeau of sympathizing with Sikh separatist extremists. It fell completely over a cliff when it came to light that invitations to two receptions with Trudeau had been issued to a man with Sikh extremist ties, who had been convicted in Canada of attempting to murder an Indian politician in 1986.


But in court, the Crown’s focus is on who Grewal put on the invite list.

Kattar Miller said there were two larger receptions — one in Delhi and one in Mumbai — and MPs who wished to join could submit names of people they wanted to have invited to the receptions.

More than a dozen Liberal MPs joined the trip and their invite list together takes up more than 12 pages. Grewal’s initial list had 100 names on it.

She said there was also a more intimate meet-and-greet with Trudeau in Delhi to which MPs could invite up to five people. That event would allow invitees a chance to meet Trudeau and have their photo taken with him.

During cross-examination, Grewal’s defence attorney confirmed with Kattar Miller that MPs were able to submit as many names for the invitation list as they wanted and that there were no restrictions on whom the MPs could invite.

She also confirmed to him that she had done a “high-level” review of the names submitted and none of them raised any alarm bells.

“I can’t recall anything,” she said.

The trial is expected to last until late July.
 

spaminator

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Ex-Liberal MP invited lenders to private meet-and-greet with Trudeau, court told
Raj Grewal is facing two breach of trust charges

Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Publishing date:Jun 23, 2022 • 17 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation

OTTAWA — A pair of Ontario businessmen say they each loaned former Liberal MP Raj Grewal $200,000 before being invited to join a 2018 trip to India with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.


Brampton tire centre owner Andy Dhugga told an Ottawa court today he has known Grewal’s family for a long time, and Grewal asked him for the money in the summer of 2017, saying he needed to pay off a different loan.

A former Liberal political staffer testified earlier that Dhugga and businessman Yusuf Yenilmez, who told court he also loaned Grewal money, were both on a shortlist of five guests Grewal invited to participate in a private meet-and-greet with Trudeau in New Delhi.

The former MP is facing two breach of trust charges, with the Crown alleging he used his political office for personal gain and offered access to the trip in exchange for money that he used to pay off major gambling debts.

Grewal was elected to represent Brampton East for the Liberal party in 2015 and resigned from its caucus three years later when his gambling problem came to public light.

The former MP has denied any wrongdoing and stated at the time of his resignation that he had sought treatment for his gambling addiction and paid off all his debts.
 

spaminator

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Ex-Liberal MP Raj Grewal sees trial extended to fall
Court has heard testimony from witnesses who said he asked them for loans while he was sitting as federal MP

Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Publishing date:Jul 26, 2022 • 15 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
The trial for former Liberal MP Raj Grewal, who stands accused of using his political office for personal financial gain, will extend until at least this fall.
The trial for former Liberal MP Raj Grewal, who stands accused of using his political office for personal financial gain, will extend until at least this fall. PHOTO BY ADRIAN WYLD /The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The trial for former Liberal MP Raj Grewal, who stands accused of using his political office for personal financial gain, will extend until at least this fall.


The ex-Brampton politician faces two breach of trust charges related to a series of loans he took out to pay for gambling debts, which he kept hidden from the federal ethics commissioner while he served in Ottawa.

Though the trial was originally only scheduled through late this month, Grewal’s fate is now left hanging for an extended hiatus, with further hearings tentatively scheduled for November.

The Crown has tried to establish that Grewal offered help with visas or special access to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in exchange for financial help from friends and businesspeople in his riding.

A key witness told an Ontario court last week that he expected no special favours in return for a $200,000 loan that he gave to Grewal shortly before he attended a private meet-and-greet with Trudeau in India.


Yusuf Yenilmez, an Ontario businessman, testified during cross-examination that as a well-connected Liberal party member, he needed no help from Grewal in accessing Liberal officials.

Yenilmez’s presence at a New Delhi reception during Trudeau’s February 2018 official visit was at issue in the trial, with a former Liberal staffer testifying earlier that his name was on a shortlist of five guests Grewal invited to the meet-and-greet.

But Yenilmez said the event had nothing to do with the loan and he had already met Trudeau five or six other times.

It was not clear to him that he was accessing anything “exclusive” or meant for “VIPs” by lining up for a photo with Trudeau at the party, he said.

And he noted that the pictures from the India event weren’t even the best ones he had taken with this prime minister — he already had other snaps from “more private” settings.


Since Grewal’s trial began early last month, the court has heard testimony from a variety of witnesses who said he asked them for loans while he was sitting as a federal MP.

Yenilmez and several other Brampton-based witnesses told the court that they provided the large sums because they trusted Grewal and considered him to be a friend — and stated that they’d provided similar amounts to other trusted friends in the past.

Another Ontario businessman, Andy Dhugga, had testified that in his community it is not unusual for people to help each other out in this way.

Both witnesses said they were not aware that Grewal, a lawyer who was elected to represent Brampton East in 2015, needed the money because of a brewing gambling problem.

Grewal resigned from the Liberal party caucus after his addiction came to public light in late 2018, and he did not run again in the 2019 election.

At the time of his resignation, he said that he had sought treatment for his gambling addiction, that he only took loans from friends and family and that he had paid off all his debt.

The RCMP charged Grewal in 2020 with four counts of breach of trust and one count of fraud over $5,000, but only two breach of trust charges remain.

The next hearings are currently scheduled for the week of Nov. 14.

— With a file from Erika Ibrahim.
 

bertjones

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Jan 11, 2023
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The account of the former MP's agitated blackjack experience at Casino Lac Leamy certainly adds an intriguing layer to the world of Canadian politics. Despite the thread being a year old, the details you've shared highlight how even public figures can find themselves in unexpected situations.
 

bertjones

New Member
Jan 11, 2023
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Manassas
The account of the former MP's agitated blackjack experience at Casino Lac Leamy certainly adds an intriguing layer to the world of Canadian politics. Despite the thread being a year old, the details you've shared highlight how even public figures can find themselves in unexpected situations.
It's fascinating to consider the dynamics of that moment – the intensity of emotions at play during a game of blackjack. The fact that the incident was documented in a formal security report underscores the significance of the event within the casino's context.

For those who might be interested in diversifying the conversation, https://www.spamspamspammyspamspam introduces a different subject. This serves as a reminder of the various dimensions that forums can encompass, from serious discussions to leisurely interests.
 

KyleeHerrera

Time Out
Nov 7, 2022
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I just came across this article about former MP Raj Grewal and his blackjack incident at Casino Lac Leamy. It's quite an interesting story. Now, speaking of casinos, have any of you ever tried betting online? It's become quite popular these days, and there are some great options like SPAM-SPAM-Link. It offers a convenient way to enjoy some gambling fun from the comfort of your own home. Plus, online casinos often have a wide range of games and bonuses to choose from. Getting back to the article, it's intriguing that some charges were withdrawn for Grewal, and his lawyer seems confident about his innocence. Trials can be quite complex, so it'll be interesting to see how this one unfolds. I hope justice is served, whatever the outcome may be.