2,300 Bicycles And Toronto Bike Shop Property "FROZEN"
Almost 2,300 bicycles, a property housing a Toronto second-hand bicycle shop and two vehicles have been frozen under Ontario's groundbreaking civil forfeiture law.
Ontario's Attorney General has been granted a temporary court order to preserve 2,292 used bicycles and two vehicles, pending the outcome of civil forfeiture proceedings. The order also preserves property at 927 Queen Street West in Toronto, formerly the location of a used bicycle shop. This preservation order "freezes" the ownership of the bicycles, building and vehicles to prevent them from being mortgaged or sold.
Government lawyers satisfied the civil court that there are reasonable grounds to believe the property and assets are proceeds or instruments of unlawful activity. The Crown will now seek to prove the allegations in court. If successful, the property will be forfeited to the Crown.
- Under Ontario’s civil forfeiture program, forfeited property is converted to cash and used to compensate victims and provide grants for programs to assist victims and prevent victimization.
- Since November 2003, a total of $8.3 million in property has been forfeited to the Crown. The province also has more than $10 million in property that is frozen pending the completion of civil forfeiture proceedings.
- Civil forfeiture proceeds have funded approximately $1 million in compensation to victims of unlawful activity and more than $900,000 in grants to law enforcement agencies.
“Allowing people to keep ill-gotten gains goes against the fundamental notion of justice,” said Attorney General Chris Bentley. “We’ve taken steps to freeze assets under Ontario’s innovative civil forfeiture law as a step towards recovering the proceeds of unlawful activity and also to compensate the victims of that unlawful activity.”