Loris Cavaliere: Lawyer or Criminal?

In the summer of 2016, allegations were contained in an affidavit prepared to obtain search warrants in police operations in 2015, named Project Magot and Project Mastiff. Both were effected at the same time by Sûreté du Québec-led investigations that produced the arrests of nearly 50 people on Nov. 19, 2015, including alleged Rizzuto clan members, Leonardo Rizzuto, 47, and Stefano Sollecito, 48. Hells Angels Salvatore Cazzetta, 61, was charged in the investigation and the SQ arrested André ‘Frisé’ Sauvageau, 60, another member of the Hells Angels. He died in 2021.

Andre ‘Frise’ Sauvageau
Salvatore Cazzetta

Throughout the underworld history of Montreal, there have been a couple lawyers representing the underworld. Some of those names include Frank Shoofey, who represented criminals such as Richard Blass, an independent criminal who decided to aim his sights at the Montreal mafia in the early ’70’s. Shoofey suffered a violent demise in 1985, when he would be shot outside of his office.

Frank Shoofey

Another was a man by the name of Sidney Leithman. Leithman represented underworld figures suck as Frank Cotroni and Frank ‘Dunie’ Ryan. He also suffered a very unfortunate death, being shot at in his car in 1991. In 1993 it was revealed that Leithman had been working with the RCMP since 1985. But who are the lawyers representing criminal in the 21st century? Loris Cavaliere is one, mainly a mob lawyer.

Sidney Leithman
Sidney Leithman’s Body

When Loris Cavaliere was arrested in November, the SQ had made claims that his law offices on St. Laurent Blvd in Little Italy were used for multiple meetings between organized crime figures. But according to information contained in the affidavit, Cavaliere was also involved in drug-trafficking along with his clients. It seems that when lawyers represent big name criminals, there is a thin line between legal and illegal.

Loris Cavaliere, underworld lawyer.
Loris Cavaliere

Cavaliere was linked to Hasan Eroglu, a close friend of Lorenzo Giordano, who was known to police as the leader of the K-Crew, a group that specialized in selling heroin in Montreal. The K-Crew were involved in a conflict with the Hells Angels about a decade ago. Eroglu was fatally shot, on July 5, 2007. The homicide remains unsolved. Jean Philippe Celestin was also once a member of the K-Crew.

Jean Philippe Celestin, ex-member of the K-Crew, photographed at Gregory Woolley’s funeral.
Cavaliere with Leonardo Rizzuto.

An informant who was being handled by two Montreal police detectives described a meeting between Cavaliere and Arsene ‘Big Mouth’ Mompoint, 42, a member of the Bo-Gars.

Arsene ‘Big Mouth’ Mompoint

Cavaliere was part of the roundup in 2016, but unlike many of the accused, he was granted a conditional release on Dec. 4, 2016. One of the conditions he agreed to, prevents him from practicing as a lawyer while his case is pending.

Montreal police say mafia, Hells Angels, and street gangs formed an alliance to control drug trade, and it all could not have happened without Loris Cavaliere. “All the crucial decisions were made in his office” SQ Chief Inspector Patrick Bélanger said.

Loris Cavaliere with Gregory ‘Picasso’ Woolley

Loris Cavaliere was sentenced to 34 months after he pleaded guilty to gangsterism. He became the first lawyer in Quebec to plead guilty to the criminal charge of gangsterism. He was granted full parole after serving one third of his sentence in minimum security. Cavaliere’s mobster clients were all acquitted after tapes made in the lawyer’s office were tossed. 

He was last in the news attending Gregory ‘Picasso’ Woolley funeral in December of 2023.

Loris Cavaliere at Gregory Woolley’s funeral in December of 2023.
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