When is a gynecologist not a doctor? Answer: when he’s an abortionist. A headline in the North York Mirror, Sunday, Aug. 18 stated: “North York doctor convicted of income-tax evasion” (see also the September Interim.) They malign every gynecologist and doctor in North York when they fail to mention that Joseph S. Lee is an abortionist.

Lee, after being fined $64,200 for failing to report more than $303,000 in income over a three-year period, said that he was “saving money for his retirement.” Yeah, right.

After he pleaded guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice on Aug. 13, Lee paid the fine immediately by certified cheque. Either Lee was psychic or he knew in advance what the fine was going to be.

Lee’s total payments to Revenue Canada came to roughly $200,000, which is only $100,000 more than he would have to pay legally. This was a serious criminal offence. Yet the fine (the price of a Lexus 430SL) is not much of a punishment when you look at what an abortionist can financially grind out in a year. And Lee escaped going to jail. (Incidentally, I, along with the Burnie sisters, picketed Lee’s office a few years ago. Small world.)

I pity the poor bank robber who’s caught. For the lousy $300 he steals with a note, he’s be lucky to get off with three years in jail.

Meanwhile, I was more amused than shocked when I read about a 51-year-old bank manager in Edmonton who managed to steal $16 million from his own branch over a period of six years. (Heavens! Who’s doing their accounting? Arthur Andersen?) The banker, Nick Lysyk, who never made more than $61,000 a year, used 62 phony demand loans that totalled $15,942,000 and used the proceeds to entertain a bevy of six attractive younger women, all of whom worked at massage parlours or escort services. The money is alleged to have been funnelled into six fictitious accounts controlled by Lysyk.

Lysyk bought expensive houses, cottages, condos, fleets of expensive cars, and set up investment accounts for his former wife, daughter and son-in-law and his six companions. The bank in August of this year moved to seize a downtown Edmonton massage parlour purchased with Lysyk’s proceeds. (Good work, guys!)

Lysyk’s generosity to his girlfriends was astounding. He met Lillian Green, now 40, at a massage parlour and showered $1.3 million on her – including a half-million dollar house, a country house, cottage, six vehicles, a recreational trailer and a boat.

Judging by bank documents, 23-year-old Stephanie Argue was a favourite of Lysyk. He met her at an escort service, which she eventually owned. Bank drafts given to her are alleged to have totalled more than $1.5 million. One bank draft for $96,300 was to buy a Lexus 430SL. The other women also received bank drafts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Did any of these women think to ask: “Nicky, how come you can give us all this money when you’re only making $61,000 a year?”

The bank has only been able to account for $6 million and Lysyk (who is in jail now) is not telling police where the other $10 million is. Lysyk has retained Brian Beresh, a top Alberta criminal lawyer, to defend him. The bad news for Beresh is that the bank has applied for a court order to seize his $200,000 retainer. It claims the money came from the banker’s alleged fraud. Poor Beresh. The money train has been held up.

Another descent into the confusing world of high finance, stock manipulation and insider trading: John Roth, the former chief executor of Nortel Networks, has bailed out of his last Nortel stock holdings. The stock has tumbled 92 per cent since Roth announced in May of 2001 his plans to retire, and 99 per cent since the shares hit a record high of $124.50 in July 2000.

Cry not for Roth, for he hath done well. Roth received $135 million in 2000 from his salary, bonus and proceeds from the sale of Nortel shares. Last year, he was paid a $1.4 million (US) salary. Roth is on leave of absence, but his salary has been boosted this year to $1.5 million. Sixty thousand Nortel jobs have been slashed and I gather Nortel shareholders are not cheering Roth’s financial success.

Anybody out there who doesn’t believe that Roth knew that Nortel was heading for the dumpster – get in touch with me. I have a summer cottage for rent – cheap! – near Kandahar, Afghanistan.