The Mike Gordon story took on a more sinister aspect when Kim Bolan posted a few provincial documents online which revealed that Mike Gordon wasn’t just a real estate salesperson like Castaneda, he was an Agent. While the public makes no distinction between the role of Salesperson and of Agent - the Tax Man does, and so does FINTRAC. "Agents" are owners who employ the licensed sales staff who provide service to the public. Agents train and supervise the sales force, they hold the deposits on Real Estate deals, they pay out the commission cheques to realtors, and much, much more. Agents are granted a higher level of discretion by the tax authorities, en par with accountants and lawyers, and if you have one in your pocket it’s a great assist to laundering money.
Mike Gordon was the owner of two companies - one the brokerage BEST BET REALTY registered on August 14, 2007 and the other a vehicle to spin real estate franchises, which was registered in April of 2008. Mr. Gordon was a personal friend of Clayton Roueche and he personally handled Roueche’s real estate portfolio. Roueche is the now infamous leader of the UN Gang, currently being held in a federal lockup in Seattle. Bolan, an investigative reporter for the Vancouver Sun, has interviewed both of Roueche’s parents at length. She taped an interview with Rupert Roueche, and the father is clearly getting frustrated that his own life is also becoming an open book. Roeuche's parents have been insisting for months that their son kept his activities separate from family life, and yet we now learn that father and sons had friends in common. "Rupert …confirmed that [Mike] Gordon was his real estate agent and a "good friend" and that he was advertising Gordon's company with a billboard on his property.”
It was Glenda Luymes, who covers the Fraser Valley beat for The Vancouver Province, who claims to have learned the reason why Mike Gordon was killed. She reported that “Murdered Chilliwack realtor Michael Gordon was buying and selling property for the UN Gang's jailed leader -- and hanging out with one of his sworn enemies.” Luymes seems very confident of her “source” but did not indicate whether the source was law enforcement or a gang associate. Her article implies that Rouche was displeased with Gordon and considered his behavior an actionable betrayal.
This begs the question of how Roueche could order a killing when he is in close confinement in Seattle? The SUN has reported that Roeuche used coded signals to issue orders from his cell last May, but surely he no longer has that ability. Is is not more likely that this killing has something to do with the ongoing investigation of the illicit income and spending habits of UN Gang associates, including realtors, which is being conducted by the Tax Man? Mark LaGrange (above) is also a key figure in this drama, and he is still alive. LaGrange, who refused to talk with reporters, is named on documents quoted in a SUN exclusive. The documents record the purchase of a Coquitlam condo by Clayton Roueche in 2007, before his arrest in the United States. LaGrange was also involved in recruiting salespersons for the company Mike Gordon set up in Surrey, B.C. At last count there were seventeen persons on staff in the BEST BET office.
Attempts were made to portray Gordon as a victim of circumstance but law enforcement wasn’t having any of that. A spokesman for the Chilliwack Detachment RCMP stated: "It may surprise you in what capacity or in what area that some of these individuals may work or operate, but definitely, this victim is known to police." Specific reference was made to “police intelligence” which means that Gordon may not have been charged with anything but he was an active investigation file. We already know that Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU) grabs the curbside garbage of gangsters as often as they can, so one must assume that most of Mike Gordon’s waste paper is archived somewhere.
So how to attract sales people and gain some credibility for Gordon’s “instant” brokerage, and without spending too much money? Well he seems to have assigned that task to an assistant. Just ten days before the boss was murdered Mark LaGrange placed an Ad on Craig’s List attempting to entice sales people to come over to BEST BET.
“No monthly Fees
No Coffee Fund
No Desk Fee
Don't lose your license during the hard times, you worked so hard to get it! Join Best Bet Realty Ltd. and get through the hard times. Take advantage of this offer now!!! Contact Mark LaGrange at Best Bet Realty Ltd. Toll Free 1 866 860 7117 or by email: XXXX @shaw.ca”
Lena Sin and Glenda Luymes shown in THE PROVINCE newsroom, September 2007. At the time they had just completed a two month investigation of gang culture in Vancouver.
Glenda Luymes, who handles the Fraser Valley beat for The Province newspaper, interviewed Integrated Gang Task Force spokesman Sgt. Shinder Kirk . He said "It's not surprising organized crime would turn to real estate. There would be a benefit to having someone in that profession as part of your organization." Kirk pointed out that gangs, "like any other business organization" must recruit members with a variety of skills.
I was curious to read the comments of Larry Buttress who answered the reporter's questions on behalf of the Real Estate Council of B.C. His remarks were so bland that they testify to a culture of neglect in the industry. “Certainly it's concerning to us when we hear about Realtors who are involved in things they shouldn't be . . . but it's not a perfect world." Mr. Buttress thought it was enough to assure the public that neither Gordon nor Castaneda had a disciplinary record with the council.
FINTRAC: I would like to see the SUN and the PROVINCE do some federal Access to Information searches for FINTRAC records which might reveal the extent of organized crime infiltration of the Industry in B.C. We are warned that the scale of illicit drug activity is now 'off the scale'. FINTRAC officers are constantly giving presentations to Real Estate companies in the Lower Mainland which scare the hell out of honest Realtors. They repeatedly warn salespeople that it's there legal duty to report all criminal activity they spot in the course of their daily work. (And risk what level of retaliation?)
[The CREA FINTRAC Compliance Page is here.] It would be instructive to learn if management level is taking any of the responsibility, or just contenting themselves with milking many thousands of Realtors of exorbitant fees.
For an interesting little sampling of how FINTRAC "compliance officers" actually go about their Intelligence gathering in the hunt for bad eggs among Vancouver Realtors, have a gander at "Dealing with FINTRAC" by Marty Douglas. It's posted on JUROCK.COM.CBC British Columbia has an online scoreboard for 2007 & 2008 gangland hits. (Use the link at upper right) On Sept. 2 the board shows 18 "targeted shootings," the local euphemism for execution murders. Some of the pistol tags are actually sites of multiple killings. Each tag opens to a data card and also a link to a news story. Note - Mike Gordon is not listed.