The Royal Canadian Mint: Oblivious to inside theft?

Among the period pieces of the ’50s were a novel and resulting movie referring to a drug addict as The Man with the Golden Arm. Ottawa prosecutors say a Royal Canadian Mint employee had another golden part of his anatomy. 

He smuggled bullion through his rectum, the Crown claims. Accused Leston Lawrence awaits decision on charges of theft, laundering the proceeds of crime, possession of stolen property and breach of trust, the Ottawa Citizen reported September 20.

Prior to that his mint duties included scooping gold from buckets, the paper stated. A number of times Lawrence took 7.4-ounce gold pieces called “pucks” to a gold buyer, the Crown maintained. He’d then deposit cheques of about $6,800, according to the allegations.

A bank teller became suspicious. After all Lawrence worked for the mint, was raking in cheques from a gold-buying business and kept wiring money out of the country.

“Records revealed 18 pucks had been sold between November 27, 2014 and March 12, 2015,” the Citizen noted. “Together with dozens of gold coins that were redeemed, the total value of the suspected theft was conservatively estimated at $179,015.”

Cops said they found four more “pucks” in Lawrence’s safety deposit box.

He’s since been fired. But his lawyer says there’s absolutely zero evidence his gold came from the mint. Moreover, the mint has absolutely zero knowledge of any missing gold.

The Crown points to a container of Vaseline found in Lawrence’s employee locker.

The judge reserved decision until November 9.


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