November 22, 2023

Vancouver lawyer Ronald Norman Pelletier has been disbarred from practicing law in BC for knowingly assisting in dishonesty, crime, or fraud relating to money laundering.

A Law Society Tribunal panel found that Pelletier purposely used his status as a lawyer and his trust account to assist his clients in hiding the illegal proceeds of their securities fraud. This is the first time a lawyer has been disciplined in BC for knowingly assisting in money laundering.

Between 2014 and 2018, Pelletier received nearly $900,000 in fees without providing any legitimate legal services in order to hide millions of dollars that were the proceeds of his clients’ securities fraud from American authorities. He abused his trust account and allowed his clients to profit from their illicit funds. Pelletier also failed to comply with client identification rules set by the Law Society and made improper payments or withdrawals from his trust account.

In making its decision, the panel noted that lawyers who take part in illicit schemes to assist their clients to commit crimes or purposely assist in hiding proceeds of crime must be disbarred. The public must know that illegal activities by lawyers will be severely sanctioned.

For the full decision, see the panel’s decision on disciplinary action.