British ColumbiaBritish Columbia news
Updated: Fri, 21 Dec 2012 00:39:31 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Vernon lawyer admits to participating in criminal organization



Vernon lawyer admits to participating in criminal organization

A B.C. lawyer has admitted to a Vancouver court he participated in the activities of a criminal organization, the first time a Canadian lawyer has pleaded guilty to such a charge.

Vernon lawyer William Jacob Mastop could be facing a prison sentence for his association with the Vernon gang known as the Greeks.

Last month five members of the gang were convicted of brutally slaying three drug associates. During the trial the court heard taped telephone conversations between Mastop and the gang members.

Crown prosecutor David Jardine says the court allowed that evidence to be used against Mastop in his trial. Mastop will be back in court next month to set a date for sentencing.

B.C. Law Society spokesperson Robyn Crisanti says that could result in Mastop being permanently disbarred. In the meantime he is not allowed to practice law.

"From our perspective the public is protected. Now not withstanding we will proceed as quickly as possible through our disciplinary process and draw this matter to a conclusion," said Crisanti.

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