Rob Ford crack scandal: How does crowd-funding money get to drug dealers?
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is shown on the U.S. website Gawker.com in a video that is alleged to show Ford smoking crack cocaine. Ford called the idea « ridiculous.
Let’s assume one of the crowd-funding campaigns to buy the Rob Ford video reaches its goal. Then what?
If it’s the Indiegogo campaign started by U.S. website Gawkerand its editor, John Cook, he can bring the $200,000 to Canada himself.
There’s no limit on the amount of money someone can bring in to or take out of Canada, Canada Border Services says.
Anything above $10,000 (cash or equivalent, like cashier’s cheque) does have to be declared, though. It’s part of Canada’s surveillance of financing of terrorism or organized crime.
There are other ways to shift the money, although not as direct as handing it over and getting the mobile phone with the video in exchange.
The money could go via courier. Since it’s over $10,000, Gawker would have to fill out Form E668 (56 KB), Cross-Border Currency or Monetary Instruments Report and attach it to Form E667, which the drug dealers would have completed.
If that’s impractical, Western Union will transfer the money from the U.S. to Canada, person to person, in $9,000 increments. The collector in Canada could pick it up at a Western Union office with a driver’s licence ID, the company told the Star.
Western Union will investigate fishy transfers, however.
Western Union, PayPal and banks also do bank-to-bank transfers. Banks have varying limits on amounts in one transfer; Western Union and PayPal don’t.
The Gawker campaign on Indiegogo is fixed funding, meaning it has to reach the $200,000 goal by the deadline of Monday, May 27, or everybody gets their money back.
By Tuesday, it had collected about $90,000 from 3,600 contributors with pledges arriving every few minutes.
Only 50 or so chipped in big money, between $75 and $200. A $10,000 donation comes with a promise of the actual iPhone storing the video, contingent on the phone itself being part of the transaction.
If Gawker does hit its goal, Indiegogo would send the money to Gawker’s PayPal account as a lump sum, minus Indiegogo’s four per cent platform fee. Fixed funding campaigns only take contributions via PayPal.
Another Indiegogo campaign started by Torontonians Kevin Morrison and Chris Breikssis flexible funding, meaning they can keep what was raised minus processing fees.
The Toronto crowd-funder was stalled at $2,543, well short of its $100,000 goal, with a deadline of Wednesday midnight.
Morrison has said he’s prepared to contribute the money to the Gawker campaign if it looks like it would put it over the top.
Photo : © HO / THE CANADIAN PRESS