Two young men were sent to jail for taking advantage of Ottawans during the 1920’s before watching their network come crumbling down due to the Great Depression.
August 30, 1930
It was Saturday, August 30, 1930. Two men, soberly dressed in dark suits, waited quietly in an Ottawa courtroom to hear their fate, as they had just pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the public and to manipulating the prices of mining companies’ shares.
Judge Daly broke the news — three years for each of them in the Collins Bay Penitentiary. It could have been worse.
The law allowed for a sentence of up to seven years for their crimes, but they had hoped to get away with just two. However, Justice Daly said that he couldn’t see how a sentence of less than three years would meet the circumstances. He had to look toward to future cases and this would set a precedent. After the pair received their sentences, former colleagues came up to shake their hands and offer condolences.
Then, the two men were taken back to the Nicholas Street jail before being processed and sent to Kingston to begin their prison sentences. What had gone so very wrong? The story began six years earlier.
On February 29, 1924, two young men, Robert H. Mowat and Duncan A. MacGillivray, announced the opening of a brokerage partnership in Ottawa, operating out of the Union Bank building on Metcalfe Street.