AuthorC. Ian Kyer
“P   Aemilius Jarvis Convicted” was the bold
front-page headline in The Globe on Saturday 25 October
1924.1 “Smith and Jarvis Sr. Imprisoned; Fined $600,000”
said the Toronto Star.2 “Prison and $600,000 Fine” echoed the Toronto
Telegram.3 The night before, after a sensational f‌ive-day trial and
months of headline-grabbing allegations,4 Peter Smith, the former
treasurer of the Province of Ontario, and Aemilius Jarvis, one of
Toronto’s most prominent businessmen and a champion yachtsman,
had been found guilty of criminal conspiracy to defraud the Ontario
government in connection with the repurchase of three series of suc-
cession duty–free bonds four years before.5
The verdict was not entirely unexpected, but it was shocking,
nevertheless. The Toronto Star dedicated considerable space to
describing not only the verdict but also what followed. Its readers were
told that “[t]he thumbs and f‌ingerprints of Peter Smith and Aemilius
Jarvis Sr., along with their individual descriptions and photographs
are now on the records of the bureau of criminal identif‌ication at
police headquarters with the records of sixty thousand odd others
who have passed through the hands of the police.6 They learned that
throughout this process, Jarvis, described as a “heart-broken man,
had maintained his innocence and had expressed concern that he

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