August 10, 2014 - 8:30 AM
PENTICTON - An elderly Osoyoos man who made his living in the drug business was given a bit of a break by a B.C. Supreme Court judge—he will lose only half his house to the government.
Barry Patrick Crowley, 77, had already forfeited more than $93,000 cash—including $36,000 to Canada Revenue Agency, but according to a recent judgment posted online, the government still wanted the remaining asset, which Crowley said he hoped to pass on to his daughter.
The home was raided by RCMP in 2008 where they found the cash, drugs, loaded weapons and more evidence of a drug operation. As part of a plea bargain, Crowley agreed to give up the cash and pay a fine. Justice Gary Weatherill describes a far more complicated legal scenario regarding the home, but says the law technically guided him to order the home forfeit under proceeds of crime legislation.
However, Weatherill agreed with Crowley that the government’s application was essentially a “boilerplate… broad brush pleading” full of hearsay or unproven evidence. For example, the Director of Civil Forfeiture provided no evidence about how long Crowley was involved in the criminal enterprise. The earliest they can prove is 2008.
Crowley owned the home since 1988 and had long paid off the $32,000 mortgage. It appreciated significantly since then. He told the court he hoped to bequeath it to his daughter.
"I am not satisfied that complete forfeiture of the Property would clearly be in the interests of justice,” Weatherill said.
He cut the value of the home down the middle and gave half the title to the government and the other half to Crowley. If he wants it outright, he has to pay half the fair market value to the government.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014