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PM's ex-aide brought convicted money-launderer to 24 Sussex Drive

Bruce Carson, a former adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper now at the centre of an RCMP probe.

Stephen Harper's former aide Bruce Carson took the former escort and convicted money launderer he was dating to meet Mr. Harper at a party at 24 Sussex Drive, the PM's official residence.

Mr. Carson brought Barbara Lynn Khan to a garden party at the PM's residence to mark the departure of Mr. Harper's chief of staff Ian Brodie, who left the Prime Minister's Office in 2008.

A spokesman for the Conservative Party, Ryan Sparrow, said that Ms. Khan attended the party on the grounds of 24 Sussex, although he said he could not confirm whether she chatted with Mr. Harper and his wife, Laureen, as Ms. Khan claims.

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"All I can say for certain is that she attended the party," Mr. Sparrow said.

But Ms. Khan told the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network that she did meet the Prime Minister, and found Mr. Harper "approachable" and "friendly" when she met him at the party. She described Ms. Harper as a "gracious hostess."

The Globe and Mail reported on Friday that Mr. Carson had a long-running relationship with Ms. Khan that began in 2006 and led to the couple buying a downtown Ottawa condo in 2009. Ms. Khan was convicted of money laundering in 2004 for her role in running a large-scale prostitution ring in North Carolina, and was deported to Canada in 2005.

Mr. Carson's post-PMO activities have been in the limelight since the APTN reported last month that he had contacted Harper government ministers and political staffers over the business project of another girlfriend, also a former prostitute, Michelle McPherson, 22.

Mr. Carson contacted them about efforts to sell water-purification equipment to first nations - as Ms. McPherson had a contract to gain a share of revenues from sales of the equipment by an Ottawa firm, H20 Global Group.

Mr. Harper referred the matter to the RCMP, but critics have questioned how Mr. Carson, convicted on two separate occasions of fraud in the early 1980s and in 1990, and who suffered a bankruptcy and long-running financial troubles, was able to act as a senior adviser to the Prime Minister from 2006 to 2009.

Mr. Harper said he knew that Mr. Carson had been disbarred and convicted of fraud in the early 1980s, but would not have hired him had he known of his second fraud conviction in 1990.

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About the Author
Chief political writer

Campbell Clark has been a political writer in The Globe and Mail’s Ottawa bureau since 2000. Before that he worked for The Montreal Gazette and the National Post. He writes about Canadian politics and foreign policy. More

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