Well, they spent it the same way you or I probably would if we had a nice windfall of a few hundred thousand or a million or two: they spent it on a place. A getaway. A holiday home.

Once Karlheinz Schreiber started splitting up the millions of dollars in secret commissions paid by Airbus, Thyssen and MBB (Messerschmidt-Bolkow-Blohm) to help obtain huge government contracts in Canada, there was enough money going round for some serious real estate.

Frank Moores’ lobbying firm, Government Consultants International, worked on all these contracts and he began by buying, with a friend, a beautiful fishing camp in the Gaspe in 1989 for between $150,000 and $200,000 and renovating it.

We don’t know if it was money from Schreiber that paid for this place because Moores had many major companies among his clients, but we do know that he used the first payments from the Airbus sales to Air Canada, payments that rolled into his firm in 1990, to buy a $200,000 condo in an exclusive gated community in Jupiter, Florida.

Giorgio Pelossi, Schreiber’s accountant, wired him the money he needed from the accounts Schreiber set up to hold the secret commissions.

In 1989, both the Doucet brothers, Fred and Gerry – now both of them working as lobbyists on Schreiber’s projects – bought themselves condos in Ste. Petersburg, Florida.

That same year, Schreiber himself bought himself a condominium in Rockcliffe Park in Ottawa for $375,000.

And Europeans who received a share of the secret commissions on these and other deals involving Schreiber also bought holiday homes. One, for example, was Stuart Iddles, Airbus’s senior vice-president from 1986 to 1994; through is wife, he purchased Casa Estacas, a waterfront villa in Puerto Vallarta in 1992. His codename in Schreiber’s meticulous arrangement of sub-accounts in the Zurich bank that held the secret commissions, was “Stewardess.”

German officials who accepted secret commissions from Schreiber on a Thyssen tank deal unrelated to the Canadian contracts also bought luxurious getaways; one chose a home in Lugano, Switzerland; another a ski chalet, also in Switzerland.

And what did Brian Mulroney buy? And with what?

He bought two places but neither with Schreiber commissions, as far as I could determine. He appears to have used his own money to finance the new house he bought for $1.67 million in Montreal in March 1993 and which he renovated for another $1-million (although his original work permit had showed plans worth about $600,000).

But in January, 1997, after winning his spectacular lawsuit against the RCMP and the Canadian government for including his name in a letter to Swiss authorities saying he was under investigation with regard to the sale of the Airbus planes and other contracts, he received an apology and $2.1-million to cover his legal fees and make amends.

That was the same lawsuit that saw him deny having any sort of business relationship with Schreiber and stating that they only met for coffee a couple of times at a hotel in Montreal.

A few weeks later he and his wife, Mila, were shopping for a holiday home in Palm Beach, Florida and in March, 1997 they bought a house there for $1.45-million.