Loan shark charged in alleged murder plot

Article originally appeared in: Toronto Sun

Two men charged in an alleged murder plot, which police say came to light during an organized crime investigation, made a brief first court appearance Friday. [The accused 1], 39, and [The accused 2], 50, did not speak as their lawyers sought to adjourn the case while awaiting Crown disclosure.

[The accused 1], and [The accused 2], were arrested separately in Calgary on Tuesday. The Irricana men face charges of conspiracy to commit murder, kidnapping and aggravated assault.

Crown prosecutor Shane Parker said defence lawyers Don MacLeod and Greg Dunn should be receiving information on the cases against their clients soon.

“We should have disclosure available for counsel next week,” Parker told provincial court Judge Brian Stevenson.

Both MacLeod and Dunn waived reading of the charges against their clients.

Police said the men were arrested during an ongoing organized crime investigation when officers learned of a plan to possibly kidnap and murder an individual.

The suspected target, whom police have not named, was likely selected because it was believed he was involved in the arson of a business with which one of the accused is associated, cops said.

Police also said at this point it’s not believed the intended victim had any involvement in the arson.

[The accused 1] was in the midst of serving a 12-month conditional sentence on a loan-sharking charge.

He pleaded guilty last Nov. 5, to charging criminal interest rates.

It was only last month that [The accused 1] would have completed the house arrest portion of his sentence.

In a strange twist, [The accused 1] has an unfortunate connection to a murder in Calgary in the 1980s, when he was a boy.

His father, Richard Ferber, murdered his estranged wife, and [The accused 1]’s mother, in the family’s Springbank home while there to visit his two sons.

The killer, who later received a life sentence, took his sons to McDonald’s for lunch after shooting their mom five times.

[The accused 1] and [The accused 2] will remain in custody pending their next court appearance on June 23.