Robitussin heir Jeremy Milsom is at the centre of an inquiry into a Bermuda law firm with ties to the Ontario Liberal government. The Globe and Mail has reported that Milsom and three family members spent money on themselves through a series of offshore corporations while they were being investigated by regulators, including a $15,000 payment while police were watching on a shopping spree to Starbucks.
In October 2017, South Korean prosecutors revealed that Milsom had been secretly working in the region on behalf of companies with suspected ties to North Korea. South Korea’s special prosecutor’s office then raided the headquarters of Jernigan World, a Florida-based court services company with offices in Toronto, for “personal involvement” by Milsom in the operations of Jernigan’s subsidiaries. Jernigan, a major Canadian court services provider, has partnered with RBC Global Asset Management, which oversees more than $3tn of assets, to provide services to senior clients in the financial-services industry in various jurisdictions.
Svalbard “at a remote outpost on the most remote of the world’s continents”, also known as the Norwegian continental shelf, an oil hub, and site of a designated step for breaking up countries in conflict.
Milsom, the chief executive of RBC’s Aequitas affiliate, a multinational wealth management firm, is the heir to the 78-year-old Robitussin fortune. The Ontario government regulates the province’s securities regulator, which is an “interested party” in the case. An Ontario MPP told reporters on Thursday that allegations against Milsom were “completely serious and we’ll be seeking to ensure he never acts again on our behalf”.
After being served with a so-called subpoena on the island of Svalbard, Milsom began lobbying aggressively against an international investigation into the conduct of RBC, including letters he wrote to the Canadian prime minister and foreign affairs minister, as well as an unusual request to the inspector general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, an intergovernmental body that helps implement the Paris climate accord.
It was later revealed that Milsom had signed a memorandum of understanding with a Bermuda law firm representing Premier Doug Ford’s Ontario Liberal party. The Globe and Mail reported on Tuesday that representatives of the Attorney General of Ontario were also named in a court document.
• Additional reporting by Zoe Lewis