Nathan Jacobson a Canadian businessman with ties to prominent Conservatives has been arrested in Toronto. U.S. authorities, were upset, that no Canadian authorities had responded to an arrest warrant they had issued on July 30.
Jacobson had already pleaded guilty in a California court to money laundering but then failed to attend court for pre-sentencing. Jacobson, who was born in Winnipeg, had his bail denied and will stay in detention until a court appearance on Oct. 31.
Jacobson, along with others, set up an online pharmacy in Costa Rica. The pharmacy sold drugs to Americans without prescriptions from 2004 to 2006. While Jacobson originally faced charges of fraud and the distribution and dispensing of controlled substances, in return for co-operation with authorities, the charges were reduced to laundering $46 million in drug payments. He pleaded guilty to the charges and was expected to serve four years. However, he failed to show up at pre-sentencing.
An international red notice, a warrant issued for the arrest of a flight risk, was certified by a Canadian judge. In March a photograph was taken of Jacobson smiling between Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu at a reception in Ottawa.
Jacobson claims he worked on the Conservative 2008 election campaign and that he is a friend of cabinet ministers Jason Kenney and John Baird. Both ministers claimed to be unaware of Jacobson's legal problems. Apparently police officials were unaware as well since they had neglected to act on an arrest warrant issued on July 30. It took a red notice to call their attention to the matter.
Ironically, Jacobson started a lawsuit against Conservative MP Mark Adler for an unpaid $265,000 loan. Adler, denies that he received that amount and claims that what he did receive was a gift meant to help his Economic Club of Canada expand into the U.S. Jacobson had donated $10,000 to the Conservative Party in recent years. He was a prominent philanthropist within the Jewish community as well.
Jacobson had served in the Israel Defense Forces before he began his business career amassing a fortune in the nineteen nineties. He sold gasoline, cars and cigarettes in post-soviet Russia. In the Costa Rica operation Jacobson used his Tel-Aviv based credit card company, RXPayments Ltd. and then sent the money to bank accounts in Cyprus. Jacobson also owned Paygea, a credit card clearing company that handled payments for adult websites and gambling sites. The firm suddenly ceased operations in Israel last April. Jacobson served in prominent Jewish institutions including the board of Tel Aviv University In 2010 he was honored at the annual Y Sports Dinner in Winnipeg for his service to the Jewish community.
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