Associate Minister of National Defence Julian Fantino
Credits: CHRIS ROUSSAKIS/QMI AGENCY
However, Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson probed the allegations, quickly determined the documents were phoney and cleared Toronto's former top cop of any wrongdoing.
"When I found out about it, I felt I was either the victim of mistaken identity or identity theft," Fantino told QMI Agency Friday. "So I immediately notified the RCMP. I was never concerned because I knew the accusation was totally false."
Dawson advised Fantino last week she had received a letter and documents from Richard Lorello, a former Tory candidate in his riding.
The letter suggested Fantino may hold several off-shore accounts.
The documents included statements for accounts in Fantino's name in Grand Cayman and a receipt for a wire transfer to those accounts from a bank in Nassau, Bahamas.
Fantino received a letter from the ethics commissioner Thursday explaining she had contacted the banks in question and determined the documents were not authentic.
"Based on the information before me," Dawson wrote, "I do not have reason to pursue this matter further."
However, Fantino said the RCMP are now trying to find out who is behind the ruse.
"If the person who forwarded this information (to the Commissioner) is not the person who engineered this whole thing, then he needs to be clear and up front with police and assist them in their investigation to get to the bottom of this," he said.
Fantino joined the Toronto police in 1969, worked his way up and served as the city's police chief for five years. Along the way he also served as chief in London, Ont., and York Region, north of Toronto.
In 2006, Fantino was named commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police.
After retiring from policing in 2010, Fantino was elected as Member of Parliament in Vaughan, Ont.
He was appointed Minister of State for Seniors the next year, and recently the 69-year-old was named Associate Minister of National Defence.
Lorello, who is no longer a member of the Conservative riding association in Vaughan, has said he was given the documents last year and he didn't know if they were real or fake but felt it was his duty to hand the papers over to the ethics commissioner.
He has so far refused to identify the source who gave him the documents.