Danforth business owner and arsonist may get 10 years in the slammer—but he’ll also get to profit from his crime
This story reads more like a true crime novel with each passing day: a Danforth family business is burned to the ground, killing one of the arsonists in the process. Then, the operation’s master planner—who also happens to be the owner of the burned-down business—was found guilty of conspiracy to commit arson but somehow still allowed to profit from the redevelopment of the property that once housed his business.
In June, a jury acquitted [John] Magno of second-degree murder but found him guilty of manslaughter in the Christmas Day 2001 blaze that killed arsonist Tony Jarcevic, 22.
The jury also found the 53-year-old Toronto businessman guilty of conspiracy to commit arson….
Magno’s lawyer, Marie Henein, asked for a six-year sentence less four years credit for extremely onerous house arrest bail conditions, under which Magno suffered a minor heart attack.
One of the things we can’t help but notice about this case is that there’s no talk in the court of property seizure—something that Canadian law allows in other cases (usually, it turns out, involving drugs or money laundering). But here in Toronto, there has been at least one case in which there was a criminal conspiracy at least as complex as most drug deals—and that posed a far greater risk to neighbourhood lives and property—but the Magno family will still profit handsomely from the redevelopment of their property.
We’re not calling for an angry mob or anything, but given that arson doesn’t appear to be going out of style in Toronto, this just seems a bit weird, doesn’t it? Perhaps one of those new local Conservative MPs should give Ottawa a nudge in the direction of letting courts seize properties that could generate profit after a crime like this.