|William "Willie Obie" Obront|
| William Obront, who was named in organized crime inquiries as the Canadian equivalent of Meyer Lansky, was born in Montreal on March 27, 1924. He first came to police attention when he was in his twenties and would assume a position that was nearly impossible: a Jew at the top of Montreal's Italian Mafia.
Obront, known as "Willie Obie", became Vic Cotroni's chief money launderer. His job was to hide funds derived through gambling, narcotics smuggling, loan sharking, and other illicit activities. He also invested the money, creating even more revenues. The Quebec Crime Probe of 1977 revealed how Obront had washed over $89 million in two years for the organization through various schemes.
| He also ran a thriving loan sharking business that generated millions of dollars in profit. In late 1973, Obront successfully took over all gambling in the Ottawa-Hull area for the Montreal family. Police estimated that the group took 25 percent of a bookmaking operation that generated $50,000 a day.
Obront sat at the head of thirty eight companies. He was president of Certes Holding Ltd. and owned shares in the Béret Bleu with Roméo Bucci, Peter Adamo, and Frank Dasti. He, along with two associates, also managed to have the only meat-storage facilities on the Expo '67 site, as well as 500 vending machines on the property. "Willie Obie" became so wealthy that he was known to wager $50,000 on U.S. football games.
The organization's primary money-launderer successfully avoided the spotlight and moved to Hallendale, Florida in the seventies. But the shit hit the fan for "Willie Obie" on July 21, 1983. He was named with Vic Cotroni's son Nick in an indictment following a joint investigation from the RCMP, DEA, and FBI. Obront headed a $50 million-a-year drug ring that brought millions of phony quaaludes into the United States. The network was enormous and arrested with Obront and Cotroni were twenty Canadians, twenty-seven Americans, and two Columbians. The gang was responsible for trafficking 70 percent of the quaalude market in the United States and shipped an estimated 35 to 40 kilograms of cocaine into Canada between 1981 and 1986. A kilogram of cocaine was seized outside Obront's home on the day he was arrested.
Obront was sentenced to 20 years in prison. On March 7, 2002, Obront, then 78 years old, he was released from prison.