Former Little Current resident goes to trial in OPP union case

OPPA

ORILLIA – Jury selection for the trial of former Little Current resident Martin Bain on charges stemming from an RCMP raid on the offices of the Ontario Provincial Police Association (OPPA) began at the Ontario Superior Court in Orillia on September 17.

Three senior members of the OPPA, Karl Walsh of Bradford West Gwillimbury, James Christie of Midland and Martin Bain of Oro-Medonte (formerly of Little Current) were scheduled to stand trial on September 9, 2019 in Ontario Superior Court in Orillia.

Mr. Bain served as an OPP officer in Little Current for a number of years.

Mr. Christie was OPPA president, while Mr. Bain was vice-president and Mr. Walsh was chief administrative officer when the RCMP, utilizing an affidavit from union whistleblowers to obtain a warrant, searched the Ferris Lane OPPA offices on March 6, 2015. Nearly a year and a half later (June 16, 2016) the RCMP filed charges against the three of theft, breach of trust, fraud and laundering the proceeds of crime. A 2015 filed affidavit lists allegations of suspicious financial transactions including the purchase of a condominium in the Bahamas and a $100,000 wire transfer to the Cayman Islands for a “high risk” investment.

The RCMP allege that a sophisticated network of schemes had been set up involving secretly owned companies and offshore investments to defraud union members.

None of the allegations has been proven in court.

The original search warrant was ordered sealed by an Ontario Superior Court judge and details were not available to the public.

All three men resigned from their positions with the OPPA in 2015 following news that the RCMP financial crime and anti-corruption unit had opened an investigation.

The trial is expected to last several weeks and hear upwards of nine witnesses.