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Crucial Fact

  • His favourite word was police.

Last in Parliament March 2011, as Bloc MP for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin (Québec)

Won his last election, in 2008, with 46% of the vote.

Statements in the House

Protecting Canadians by Ending Sentence Discounts for Multiple Murders Act February 1st, 2011

Madam Speaker, the Conservative government decided to score political points by blaming judges and jury rulings, which I think is shameful. But that is not why I am a sovereignist. I am not condemning how things are done in the criminal justice system. I still think that Canada is a civilized country and we inspire many other countries that wish to achieve a level of civilization similar to what we have achieved. The Conservatives should be ashamed of themselves for acting that way.

Protecting Canadians by Ending Sentence Discounts for Multiple Murders Act February 1st, 2011

Madam Speaker, I would like to say right away that we agree. This is a good bill and we will therefore vote in favour of it.

We feel that this is not at all the spirit that motivates the government. It is still motivated by the political benefit that can be derived. It is clear that this bill is being introduced for the second time so that the government can publicly state for the second time that it opposes sentence discounts. That is a disgraceful term to use in regard to our legal system and, besides, there is no truth to it. They want us to think a life sentence comes at a discount. It is not at a discount. Does someone have two lives if there are two victims? It is nonsense. Once again, they are taking their cue from the Americans, who have the ridiculous habit of imposing totally unrealistic sentences, such as 175 years in jail. For example, a lawyer told his client on leaving not to worry, he only had to do what he could.

The Conservatives are still using expressions that are pure propaganda. This title is pure propaganda. It is untrue. There are no sentence discounts for murder in Canada. It is true that there are multiple murders, but usually there is just one murder victim per person.

What we should remember is that, ultimately, this bill will not have much effect on the prison term that offenders serve because that decision—and this is why I think the bill is quite good—is made by the people who were there for the trial, that is to say, the judge and jury. At the end of a trial, the jury is asked whether it thinks the period of ineligibility for parole should be extended, in other words, the time until the offender can apply for it. The judge must take this opinion into account and give his reasons.

It would be better, as the hon. member for Moncton—Riverview—Dieppe suggested, if the judge had a bit more discretionary power to vary the sentence in some cases and did not have to decide between 25 and 50 years, as is currently the case. But it does not matter that much in the end. In any case, if the judge did not do it, the National Parole Board would ultimately take it into account.

We need to recognize that there are multiple murders that are less serious than single murders and there are single murders that are more serious than multiple murders. The existence of multiple victims is certainly one of the most important circumstances to be taken into account when a decision is made whether to grant parole. However, current events offer some glaring examples of this difference.

Members know that the man who was considered to be the leader of the Hells Angels, Maurice “Mom” Boucher, gave his permission to go after prison guards. He encouraged someone to go to prisons and kill two guards who were transporting prisoners. Two people showed up: one drove the motorcycle and the other was on the back. They killed the first prison guard. When they came around to kill the second, the gun jammed. Thus, Maurice “Mom” Boucher was found guilty of complicity in the murder of a single guard.

Consider another case from the news. Members will recall the horrific case in Saint-Jérôme last year of the young surgeon who was well loved in the community and deeply in love with his wife, also a doctor. When she left him, he killed their two children. That was obviously an act of desperation. One has to wonder why.

He absolutely deserves a sentence and should spend a considerable amount of time in prison. And he will, because in this case, he will not be able to apply for parole after 15 years; he will not be able to apply for 25 years because it was a multiple murder. However, it is clear that we do not need to treat the surgeon the same way as the leader of the Hells Angels, “Mom” Boucher.

There is another recent example. A poor, desperate family in Lac-Saint-Jean asked for help, but no one reached out. They eventually came to the horrible conclusion that life was not worth living, either for the parents or their children. They got enough medication to kill four people. They were eventually found in the house, and all of them were unconscious. Doctors were still able to save the woman. She survived and was charged with murdering her husband and two children, which makes sense. She was convicted. That said, there is a difference between this woman and “Mom” Boucher. Clearly, her behaviour was abnormal in psychiatric terms, but that does not justify what she did and did not render her incapable of making decisions. Consequently, it was not an admissible defence against criminal charges. But her actions were still not the same as those of “Mom” Boucher.

Think about the killer in Tucson and imagine if that happened here. In that case as well, there were multiple murders. That is very important. And there is the case of those who planted the bomb that exploded on the Air India flight. Clearly the fact that there are multiple murders will be taken into consideration by those who have to rule on parole. Obviously it is an important factor, but one that has been taken into consideration and always will be, even if this bill is not passed.

However, I see an improvement here. Currently, the decision is left up to the Parole Board concerning multiple murder cases. I think that the fact that, in future, the jury that heard the trial and the judge who will make the decision will be asked for their opinion is an improvement in the law.

Another case of appalling multiple murders is the case of Colonel Williams.

That said, in the language used by the government, a little rigour is needed. The current Minister of Justice is really not of the same calibre as many of his predecessors. He always manages to lower himself to the same level as an alley cat, with his political battles. He is in fact the one who is inspiring all these titles, which are more like propaganda slogans than informative titles for bills. Once again, he continues to show his contempt for judges and for the system. Using an expression like “sentence discounts” is, once again, an expression of his contempt in an effort to gain a slight political advantage, to show just how tough he is on crime. This is becoming a habit of his. I remember another bill the Conservatives loudly applauded that he called the “Ending House Arrest for...Serious and Violent Offenders Act”. No judge would ever allow serious and violent offenders to serve their sentences at home. It is already prohibited under existing legislation. The first criterion a judge must consider before allowing an offender to serve his sentence at home is the danger it would present to public safety.

In my opinion, if a serious and violent offender were to serve his sentence at home, that would pose a risk to public safety. So judges to do not impose such sentences.

The title of the bill clearly indicates that it is an insult to the judiciary. The member is laughing at us because we care about titles. Yes, we care about titles that are propaganda. Why does he use false propaganda in his bill titles? In my opinion, this shows once again that he has not achieved the same level of wisdom and excellence that previous justice ministers achieved—people like Guy Favreau, Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Mark MacGuigan, among others. He is not of the same calibre as his predecessors.

However, his bill does include one improvement, that is, the role of the judge and jury that heard the case. That is the only improvement it contains, but few changes were made.

In his arguments in favour of this legislation, the government member spoke of the victims who will have to continue attending National Parole Board hearings and listen to the account of the crimes of which their loved ones were the victims. A victim's family members are not required to attend these hearings. Usually half the victims decide to attend and the other half choose not to. However, there is nothing stopping those who decide not to attend from sharing their thoughts in writing or otherwise.

In that respect, there is a quick fix to all this. In fact, it might already be included in the law, but I am not sure whether this applies to Olson. Currently under the law, when someone sentenced to life in prison applies for parole before the end of his sentence—let us say that person is allowed to apply after serving 15 years—the jury making the decision on the initial application can effectively determine how long the offender will have to wait before he can apply for parole a second time. It seems to me this also applies to Olson, but perhaps not, since he has already served a minimum of 25 years. There simply needs to be a provision similar to the one that already exists under the law for those who apply 15 or 25 years after their prison term begins, in order for the jury to make its decision. In a case like Olson's, it is obvious. If ever Colonel Williams decided after 25 years to apply for parole every two years, all we would need is a provision whereby the jury hearing the initial application could determine how long Mr. Williams would have to wait before making another request. That way, the jury would lift this burden from the victims' families.

When we are dealing with this legislation it is important to remember that for the past 40 years in Canada, murderers have been serving the longest sentences. It is surprising to see that since the death penalty was abolished, murderers are serving much longer sentences than those served by murderers who had been sentenced to death, but whose sentence had been commuted. Before 1968, the average length of sentence served by murderers sentenced to death whose sentence was commuted was seven years. From 1968 to 1974, the average increased to 10 years. Since 1974 and with other reforms, the average has increased to 28.4 years. In civilized countries comparable to Canada—such as the United States—the average is roughly 15 years. For example, the average is 14 years in England and 12 years in Sweden.

When amendments were made in 1976, this information was used to establish that a decision to sentence a person to life in prison without any possibility of parole should potentially be reviewed after 15 years. Fifteen years was slightly longer than the average time frame in other civilized countries.

It is significant that Canada is the country with the longest time frame. It seems that the Conservatives' goal is to also make Canada one of the countries with the most severe sentences. I would like to remind members that we have a way to go before we catch up with the United States, the country that currently incarcerates the highest number of people, per capita, in the world. It used to be Russia, but the Americans now have a higher incarceration rate. The incarceration rate in the United States is currently seven times higher than in Canada.

Members have also spoken about the role and influence of the media. I would like to remind the media that they should perhaps be a bit more careful about criticizing court decisions. For example, the Parole Board of Canada has a gradual release program that involves sending offenders to halfway houses. There is only one difference between offenders' liberty in prison and their liberty in a halfway house: the halfway house does not have any walls, barbed wire or armed guards to ensure that offenders do not leave. However, as in prison, offenders living in a halfway house must eat when they are told, eat what they are given, do what they are told throughout the day, and live with other offenders. They are deprived of most of their freedom. After a time, these offenders may be allowed to have employment, but they have to work during the hours prescribed and they must return to and sleep at the halfway house. Little by little, offenders are given more freedom. It is important to understand that offenders who are released on parole do not have the freedom they had before they went to prison.

Newspapers generally refer to a change in status when an offender is released from prison. They say that the person has gained their freedom. That is false because it is a very limited freedom. This needs to be taken into consideration. The expense is an important consideration because the average cost of keeping an offender in prison is $110,000 compared to $30,000 if they are in a halfway house. It is possible to restrict the freedom of a good number of offenders who are not dangerous enough to be kept in the traditional maximum security setting of a prison.

In committee, we finally managed to impose an amendment on the government. It should be very clear that the opposition members find it an outright insult that judges must provide written or oral reasons for their decision in the event that they refuse to impose the most severe measure. It is customary for judges to provide reasons for their decisions in one way or another, but why impose an additional requirement if a specific measure is not applied?

This is in the same vein as the titles of laws implying that, in Canada, we give sentence discounts, as if there were sales on goodness knows what, or that judges allow serious and violent offenders to serve their sentences in the community, even though this is prohibited by law.

It is always the same story. This is something new for the Conservative Party. I do not believe that former Prime Ministers Joe Clark or Brian Mulroney adopted this habit of scoring political points at the expense of judges or the parole system.

We have had many intelligent discussions in Parliament about the role of parole. The fact remains that the parole system has been of great benefit in dealing with crime.

Protecting Canadians by Ending Sentence Discounts for Multiple Murders Act February 1st, 2011

Madam Speaker, I would like to ask the member who has just spoken what happens in cases involving multiple second degree murders. Does the judge impose consecutive periods? A judge can always adjust these periods within the 10 to 25 year range, which may shed some light on the consequences of this parole eligibility bill in cases involving second degree murder.

Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act January 31st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I completely agree with the member who asked this question. This government's Minister of Justice has become the minister of propaganda. There are many examples. He is constantly saying that they support victims and that we support criminals. This is completely untrue. No one can say such a thing in good faith, knowing that they are telling a blatant lie. We have different opinions on the best way to deal with crime. The Conservatives follow the United States' tough on crime model. It was profitable for American representatives to campaign against crime, so much so that the incarceration rate in the United States is now seven times higher than in Canada.

Let us take the cost of correctional services and multiply it by seven to see how much such a campaign would cost us. Is the United States obtaining better results? Not at all. The homicide rate in the United States is three and a half times higher than in Canada and, might I add, five times higher than in Quebec.

Although this is clearly a very bad example to follow when dealing with crime, it is profitable because people always form their initial opinion based on emotion. However, once they consider the issue more carefully, they form a more rational opinion. The Conservatives are doing what they are doing because it is profitable for them.

Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act January 31st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, the member is right. I completely agree with him. The government's game of introducing bills, killing them with prorogation and then introducing them again makes complete sense in light of their philosophy. Its philosophy does not involve tackling crime. It does not aim to reduce the number of crimes committed. In fact, the Conservatives noticed that in the United States, being tough on crime pays off in terms of votes.

Therefore, when a bill is introduced and is given first reading, then second reading, then it is killed and introduced again, and so on, the government is pandering to a public that wants to be tough on crime. But being tough on crime can be completely stupid. What is important—and I love this expression from the Liberal Party—is being smart on crime.

Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act January 31st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, today we are examining a purely doctrinaire bill that seeks to strike down a piece of legislation and measures that have met all the objectives set, that ensure public safety and that incorporate decisions made by juries representing a wide cross-section of the population. In addition, no studies have been conducted that show the failings of this legislation; we are acting on mere perception. I find it shocking that the members who spoke before me based their remarks on misperceptions. As legislators, what should we do in this type of case? I think that the voice of conscience must take precedence over public rumour.

Certain important things, such as liberty, justify me in listening to my conscience over public rumour, especially since the rumour in question is volatile and could change quickly, as evidenced by complaints about unanimous decisions rendered by juries.

What does this legislation do? It ensures that people who have been convicted of first or second degree murder cannot apply for parole.

First degree murder, which is currently defined as voluntary and planned homicide, is the most serious. First degree murder also includes murders committed in certain very serious circumstances, such as murder committed against a police officer or prison guard, murder committed as a terrorist act or murder involving sexual assault. The mandatory sentence for first degree murder is life in prison. However, those who have committed this type of murder can be eligible for parole after 25 years. It is important to note that these individuals are not freed after 25 years. In fact, most first degree murderers who apply are not granted parole; those who are can apply only after 25 years and so their application is reviewed only after a certain period of time has passed.

The minimum sentence for second degree murder is also life in prison; however, the judge who hears the case determines the parole ineligibility period, which can vary from 10 to 20 years. Nevertheless, those convicted of second degree murder cannot apply for parole until they have served 15 years in prison.

In 1976, the government thought that this legislation was necessary when it decided to abolish the death penalty. We still needed some kind of penalty that was a deterrent and life in prison certain was a deterrent. A parole system already existed, and it was decided that in the case of murder, the period before being eligible for parole needed to be much longer. That is why we have the periods that I mentioned.

In 1997, the legislation was amended to ensure that someone who committed multiple murders, or murders in some other circumstances, were not eligible for parole before 25 years. What was the purpose of that law? The Minister of Public Safety, who was known at that time as the Solicitor General, said it best.

He said:

A period of incarceration, with hope of parole, and with the built-in additional incentive for the inmate, and protection for the guards, of a review of that parole eligibility after 15 years is necessarily better than a sentence of death because it removes the possibility of an irreversible error of execution.

Thus, this was added to the Criminal Code in the hope that it would provide an incentive for long-term offenders to rehabilitate themselves and, therefore, afford more protection to prison guards.

It seems as though this goal was accomplished. There must always be some kind of hope when someone receives a sentence that could, in most cases, make them desperate and, since they have nothing to lose, cause them to do something worse.

But why 15 years? We realized that in countries such as England, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Scotland, New Zealand, Switzerland and Sweden, that the average prison time was 15 years, and 12 years in Sweden.

And what were the results? One thing is certain: it cannot be said that this law was abused. In April 2009, when statistics were studied in order to review the law, it was found that although 991 offenders had been deemed eligible for judicial review—people sentenced to life in prison without any possibility of parole depending on whether they had committed first or second degree murder—court decisions had been rendered in only 174 of the cases. I have taken these numbers from a Library of Parliament study. Of these 174 offenders, 144 had been declared eligible to apply for parole. So 30 were not eligible to begin with. Then, only 131 were granted parole, representing just over 13% of those who had been deemed eligible to apply for a judicial review. Can we really deprive all those convicted of murder in Canada of all hope and not allow 13% of them to be completely rehabilitated?

We really need to understand that the murder cases we hear about are always the worst ones. But not all murderers fill us with the same horror as the case of Clifford Olson and the more recent case of Colonel Williams. In fact, we know that in 84% of murder cases, the murderer knew the victim. In my career in criminal law as well as prosecution and defence since 1966, I realized that murder is a peculiar crime in that it cannot be said that it is usually committed by people who would be considered criminals, meaning that they have led a criminal life or that they are regularly involved in criminal activities. They are not all street gang or organized crime members. Quite the opposite. People kill for all sorts of reasons: often it is out of vengeance, on impulse, for money, but quite often the murderer knows the victim, and some examples in Quebec last year prove that. The most serious example is that of the mafia godfather, Nicolo Rizzuto, who was evidently killed by a very competent hitman.

But there is also the case of the surgeon in Saint-Jérôme who had an outstanding reputation and who was loved by his patients and the community. But when his wife, also a doctor, left him, he could not accept it and turned on his two children, killing them.

There was also that terrible family tragedy in Lac-Saint-Jean, where the father and mother of a family were desperate and decided that life was not worth living, either for them or for their children. They bought enough drugs to kill the entire family. When the police entered the home, the entire family had taken the drugs. The police were able to revive the mother, but the father and two children were dead. The mother was convicted of this triple murder. It is also thought that some murders, for which the trials are not over yet, are honour killings.

Obviously there is a whole host of situations that lead people to kill. In many of these cases, it might not be so bad after 15 or 20 years to see whether we could trust certain individuals again, especially considering the financial and social costs involved. In my opinion, the social cost of incarceration is much greater than the financial cost, which in and of itself is not insignificant.

I am told that the average cost of incarcerating an offender in Canada is $110,000. It is probably higher in maximum security penitentiaries. Only 2% of that money goes to the various programs for the rehabilitation and well-being of the inmates. Most of the money is required for satisfying security rules: walls, barbed wire, electronic systems, armed guards, three shifts and more for covering vacations, etc. All of this runs up considerable costs.

Let us be clear: when individuals are granted parole, they are not entirely free; they are under mandatory supervision. When people go to a halfway house, which is no different than prison except for the absence of bars and walls, they are still not free to move around. They have to eat and sleep as they are told, just like in prison. They are denied their freedom. They are far from being entirely free.

Of those who have benefited from this measure—only 13% of all those sentenced to life in prison for murder—that is, the 125 offenders who have been released on parole so far, 95 were actively supervised in the community and 15 were reincarcerated for breaching a condition of their parole.

So this is proof that they are closely supervised and that they must respect their conditions. However, of those 15 individuals, only two committed an offence. One committed an armed robbery and the other committed a drug-related offence. As we can see, public safety was not at risk.

In addition, the bill abolishes the system. Of course the system cannot be abolished for those who have already been sentenced by judges, who surely must have taken into account the fact that these people could eventually apply for parole. Furthermore, in cases of second-degree murder, the judges would have had to determine the length of the sentence before the accused could apply for parole.

So, there are still some people in the system. This means that if we were to pass this bill today and it were to receive royal assent, the legislation would not come into force for 15 years. In fact, it would apply only to those who commit crimes after it passes. Considering the time it would take for the bill to be passed and approved, it would probably take about 17 years for it to be fully enforced. It will eventually be enforced and this will complicate matters for the remaining offenders already in the system. First of all, inmates engaged in a rehabilitation process, who are under the care of psychiatrists and other staff, are sometimes told to wait a little longer because they need to be examined a little longer before they apply. This will no longer be possible, because the rules will be rigid and absolute. Inmates will have to apply after 15 years and will have only 90 days to do so.

After 15 years, the inmate has often been moved. Preparing his file takes several months. Some lawyers who deal with these cases testified before the committee in this regard. Furthermore, Correctional Service Canada acknowledged that preparing a file could take more than six months, but the application must be made within 90 days. The government has argued a great deal that offenders can apply for parole repeatedly, every two years. That is not true. Under the current law, offenders can go before a jury only if they obtain the permission of a judge, who must determine whether there is a reasonable prospect that the application will succeed. In the bill before us, it must be shown that there is a substantial likelihood that the application will succeed.

Then the jury must make a decision. If it refuses to grant parole, the jury may determine a period of time during which the offender is not entitled to make another application for parole. Thus, the idea that offenders can apply after 15, 17, 19 and 21 years is not true in practice. The government has been unable to give a single example where there have been such repeated requests.

I would like to point out that, on the weekend, we received a copy of a letter to the Prime Minister from the Church Council on Justice and Corrections. This organization points out that the government's plan to send more Canadians to prison for longer periods is not a good solution and that higher levels of incarceration in society in general do not have a deterrent effect. There must be a deterrent; however, prison as a deterrent must be used in moderation. I am quickly summarizing. I agree with them that this does not respect the fundamental principles of religion, such as caring for one's neighbour and its ramifications, and forgiveness. They believe that man is imperfect, a sinner, but that he can rehabilitate himself.

The bill is useless and not supported by any study, whereas the law the Conservatives want to amend has given good results. There is only one reason for what they are doing: they want to flog their ideology. I would remind my colleagues that everyone the minister said he met with could very well be called to be on a jury that hears these cases. I do not understand why, suddenly, the minister is afraid of their opinion and does not want more offenders to go before them.

Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act January 31st, 2011

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the member who just spoke to explain how his party can be in favour of this bill when previous governments believed in the law and improved all aspects of it. It is giving extraordinary results. He said that there have been two cases of recidivism. We should add that neither case involved murder; one offender was convicted of robbery and the other of a serious offence. The law has been an all around success. Despite this fact and the improvements that have been made, in cases of death sentences commuted to life in prison, the average length of imprisonment has increased from seven years, before 1968, to 28.4 years today, or longer than in any other civilized nation.

I have the impression—and he will try to give another reason—that it is because they are afraid of the Conservatives' demagoguery on these issues. Am I mistaken?

Standing up for Victims of White Collar Crime Act December 14th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, the member who spoke before me chose her words well and she is absolutely right. The only thing the Conservatives care about when presenting their strategy on crime is looking like they are tough on crime, as though that could reduce the crime rate.

I never hear them talk about how their measures will reduce crime. Their approach has been tested: apparently Saudi Arabia is also very tough on crime. The United States is a great example. In one generation, that country's incarceration rate, which was once on par with ours, exploded to 763 individuals for every 100,000 inhabitants. We are still at about 130 individuals for every 100,000 inhabitants here in Canada. We fall somewhere in the middle in comparison to Europe because incarceration rates in western European countries are lower than ours. Our rates are comparable to those of Scotland and England. That type of approach does not work.

And that is probably why the government has so many short bills. It talks about victims. But what has it done for victims? The only thing it has given victims is the satisfaction of seeing that the criminals who made them suffer will suffer a little bit more. I do not think that this is any consolation to the vast majority of victims. They would rather have help.

Standing up for Victims of White Collar Crime Act December 14th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, I want to start by pointing out, as others have done, that we are not responsible for the delays. These are bills that the Conservatives allowed to die on the order paper. Another of the main reasons why these crime bills have been delayed is all the prorogations. Surely that has been said often enough.

We had a six-point plan: first, completely eliminate parole after one-sixth of the sentence has been served—Vincent Lacroix was released after serving one-sixth of his five-year prison term, although he was subsequently sentenced again; amend the provisions in the Criminal Code on the confiscation of the proceeds of crime to include language covering fraud over $5,000, and not just over $500,000 or $1 million; reorganize the police, especially the RCMP, to create multidisciplinary teams specializing in economic crime; require banks to report irregularities in trust accounts to the Autorité des marchés financiers—that is what should have been done in the case of Vincent Lacroix and Earl Jones because the banks suspected fraud but did not report it; amend the Income Tax Act to help victims, especially through a new provision allowing fraud victims to deduct the amount that was stolen from their income, instead of treating it as a capital loss—the way things stand now, people have to pay taxes on illusory profits declared by their fraudulent brokers; and amend the Income Tax Act to prevent the use of tax havens, as endorsed by the Liberals and Conservatives, which enable individuals and companies to hide money away and evade taxes.

We already presented this six-point plan, but very little has been done so far.

Standing up for Victims of White Collar Crime Act December 14th, 2010

Mr. Speaker, our colleague raises a very important point. Ponzi schemes are pyramid schemes, which are already an offence under the Criminal Code. People invest a certain amount of money and that enables them to recruit ten other people who also invest a certain amount. Each gives a percentage of his earnings to the person who recruited him, who then gives a percentage to the person who recruited him, and so forth. It is a lot like a pyramid scheme, except that the people inside the pyramid do not benefit. In a pyramid scheme, everyone inside the pyramid benefits. To pay off the most recent investments, everyone on earth could be involved and there still would not be enough.

It would be very difficult for a judge to redistribute the money in a fair and just way to the people who were defrauded in a pyramid scheme like this. One thing is clear: there is no easy answer.

In addition, it is the provinces that are responsible. When it comes to fraud, the RCMP also gets involved. In view of these new kinds of fraud, we think that multidisciplinary teams based on the Carcajou squad should be created. In this approach, accountants share their expertise with the police.