Homeless former Wall Street banker charged in Sarnia with threatening PM Trudeau


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Oct 26, 2009
Homeless former Wall Street banker charged in Sarnia with threatening PM Trudeau
He is accused of emailing death threats from a Sarnia fast-food restaurant, Postmedia has learned

Author of the article:Terry Bridge • Sarnia Observer
Published Mar 14, 2023 • Last updated 1 day ago • 4 minute read

A former Wall Street banker is in a London jail, facing possible deportation after being charged with emailing death threats targeting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from a Sarnia fast-food restaurant, Postmedia News has learned.

The email, which includes alleged gun and bomb threats to the country’s leader and his supporters living in the border city, raised alarm bells after a copy was forwarded to Sarnia police in late January.

“They were taken as real,” said Const. Giovanni Sottosanti, a Sarnia police spokesperson. “Nothing ever manifested from it and we don’t know if anything was going to manifest from it, but obviously it did raise our concern. They were quite specific.”

Sottosanti declined to specify what was written in the email, but The Sarnia Observer heard details in a Sarnia courtroom during a Friday bail hearing – no publication ban was ordered – for the accused, a Texan who faces a similar charge in his home state.

Kandia Aird, a lawyer from the Public Prosecution Service of Canada who represented the attorney general of Canada at the hearing, said the email was titled: “I am going to kill Justin Trudeau.”

“The body of the email was concerning and stated a number of violent and troubling statements: ‘No more F-word Trudeau. I’ve had it. I’ve built bombs and guns. I’m going to go around Sarnia and lay waste to the people who support him. You can’t stop me, no one can. I will destroy Sarnia if I have to. Stop letting refugees and immigrants in this country. Trudea (sic) is ruining it for the people who built this great country. I’ve had it and only bombs and guns will make you hear us out.’ ”

The accused, a self-described “refugee” living in Canada since last summer, allegedly sent the email to a senior national reporter with The National Post, who regularly writes about immigration issues.

“It also appeared that the email was meant to be sent to the prime minister’s office, but the sender had misspelled the name as ‘Trudea,’ ” Aird said.

“We will not be commenting on this matter,” Alison Murphy, press secretary for the prime minister’s office, said via email.

The National Post reporter, who contacted Sarnia police about the email Jan. 24, declined comment on the incident. Court heard police launched an investigation the next day and allegedly traced the email’s IP address to a McDonald’s in Sarnia, where a suspect was identified via video surveillance.

Jeremy Joseph, 40, a Houston, Texas, man living in a Sarnia homeless shelter, was arrested Feb. 4 and charged with two counts of threatening death or bodily harm and one count of threatening to damage property. He was briefly granted bail, but is back in custody at Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre after a second attempt at securing bail was denied Friday.

Police did an open-source search as part of their probe, court heard.

“Which revealed that Mr. Joseph was currently wanted in Texas for terroristic threats,” Aird said.

There were four outstanding arrest warrants for Joseph in three different U.S. states, including two in Texas: one for aggravated assault and another for interstate threats.

“These allegedly involve threats made by Mr. Joseph to a judge, judicial officers, city council employee, news outlets, among others,” Aird said.

Joseph, who’s acknowledged battling addictions and mental-health issues, also faces interstate threats charges in New York, allegedly linked to two of his former co-workers at Morgan Stanley, and an arson charge in San Francisco.

All the U.S. charges, except the arson count, relate to alleged incidents while he was living in Sarnia.

“It’s very much a tainted story all connected to my mother’s estate and getting money,” Joseph told a judge, alleging his cousins have stolen his identity. “Identity is very critical here.”

Joseph came to Canada in August via the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and stayed in a Salvation Army-run shelter in Windsor before moving to Sarnia in November. The alleged threats to people living in New York, Houston, Ottawa and Sarnia were all made in December and January.

Joseph, a well-educated man with a master’s degree in bio-engineering and a degree from Stanford Graduate School of Business, represented himself at Friday’s bail hearing.

He said threatening emails sent to people with racist language doesn’t fit his identity.

“Not only does not fit my identity, but shows you that identity is critical,” he said. “These are allegations about my identity being misused.”

Aird, who argued against Joseph’s release pending a possible decision by the attorney general to extradite him, said Joseph allegedly has demonstrated an ongoing propensity to utter threats.

“This is his modus operandi,” she said. “The balance of these offences have been allegedly committed while he was on Canadian soil.”

Justice Lynne Leitch declined to release Joseph in part due to the seriousness of the charges – a U.S. official said the interstate threats charges could carry a maximum of 10 years in prison on conviction – and his lack of connections to Canada.

“I am not satisfied that Mr. Joseph’s release plan is adequate,” she said.

Joseph will return to court later this month.