Earl Jones IVAC Verdict

Do I have mixed feelings about this one.  On the one hand, The Justice Department is right: the compensation fund was designed for the limited scope of violent crime (and I believe motor vehicle) victims; opening it up to victims of financial fraud would break the bank.  On the other hand  my own struggles with IVAC have been well documented on this blog. The Earl Jones victims have fallen down the rabbit hole of the Quebec justice system; it will get a whole lot worse before it gets better for them.

Quebec excludes Earl Jones victims from fund

 

 
 
 
 
Security guards escort Earl Jones out of the Palais du Justice in Montreal on July 28, 2009. Jones was charged with four counts of fraud and four counts of theft before being released on $30,000 bail.
 
 

Security guards escort Earl Jones out of the Palais du Justice in Montreal on July 28, 2009. Jones was charged with four counts of fraud and four counts of theft before being released on $30,000 bail.

Photograph by: Dave Sidaway, The Gazette

MONTREAL – The Quebec government won’t expand its crime victims’ compensation fund to cover economic fraud victims, like those alleged to have been bilked by fraud suspect Earl Jones.

The fund, known as IVAC (Indemnisation des victimes d’actes criminels), is mainly for victims of violent crime, said Adam Lukofsky, an aide to provincial Justice Minister Kathleen Weil.

“There’s nothing the Justice Department can do for them,” he said Monday. “The fund’s mandate is very specific. It would need to be changed with legislation.”

The government has no plans to propose legislation.

Lukofsky was responding to a July 30 letter from Sun Youth to Weil and Quebec Public Security Minister Jacques Dupuis in which the Montreal community organization asked them to change IVAC because of the suffering caused to former clients of convicted fraudster Vincent Lacroix and to people whom Jones is alleged to have bilked.

Dupuis’s aides referred all questions about victim compensation to the justice minister, as her department is in charge of the fund.

As many as 175 people may have been defrauded by Jones, who faces four counts each of fraud and theft. He is free on $30,000 bail.

Sun Youth has helped five or six of Jones’s clients with money for food and rent with cash from its own victims’ aid fund, which has received $25,000 in donations since the Jones affair became news.

“Several of the people we have met are now completely ruined financially,” read the letter, signed by Sun Youth co-founder Sid Stevens.

“Some of them have serious physical disabilities and, unable to work, are destitute.”

Helio Galego, Sun Youth’s director of crime prevention and victim services, said Tuesday he was disappointed by the government’s response.

“It’s too bad,” he said. “They should look at it. It will only get worse. These people’s bills are coming in. Some of them are going to lose their homes because of this.”

He said he is not advocating the government compensate people for all the money they invested. “We’re just talking about helping people if they need essentials to live.”

While the demand for Sun Youth’s help has been low, it’s likely to grow beyond what the organization can offer, Galego said. In one case, Sun Youth paid $748 for a woman to have her Lifeline medical alert service turned back on because the bill was supposed to be paid for with income from Jones, Galego said.

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