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Canada Ottawa businessman tells incredulous judge he burned $1M cash to keep it from ex-wife

09:25  05 february  2020
09:25  05 february  2020 Source:   ottawacitizen.com

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a man standing in front of a table: Bruce McConville.© Tony Caldwell Bruce McConville.

Bruce McConville would rather burn his own money than give it to his ex-wife, and a disbelieving Superior Court judge is giving him 30 days in jail to rethink his claim.

The 55-year-old Ottawa businessman and failed mayoral candidate sold properties and businesses behind her back, then withdrew the $1 million and, he claims, burned the money in two bonfires: $743,000 last Sept. 23, and $296,000 on Dec. 15.

McConville has long defied a court order to file an affidavit about his finances, notably where the money went from the secret sales. Because his financial affairs remain a mystery, the court has been unable to figure out what he owes in child and spousal support. As a result, he has been paying neither.

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A BUSINESSMAN who burned $ 1 million in cash to stop his ex - wife He was also ordered not to sell his assets - but McConville even allegedly sold some to his accountant, reports the Ottawa Citizen. The no-nonsense judge also informed McConville if he defied court orders again 30 days would seem

McConville also defied a court order not to sell his properties because there was a fear that he was trying to keep the proceeds out of the court’s reach. McConville, in fact, sold some assets to his former accountant.

And he has further defied a Superior Court order to pay the court $300,000 as a security.

McConville’s explanation that he set fire to the missing million was revealed during a contempt motion last week before Superior Court Justice Kevin Phillips.

McConville told Phillips he withdrew a total of $1,050,000 through as many as 25 withdrawals from six bank accounts — and had the receipts to back up his claim — but no longer had the cash.

“So where’s the money now? Phillips pressed.

“I destroyed it,” McConville replied.

“You’ve lost me. What do you mean?” the judge asked.

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McConville rambled and spoke of anxiety about a relationship with a daughter.

“Can I back you up a bit? When you say you destroyed it, what do you mean?” the judge asked.

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“I think the decisions by the people from Great Britain are helping the situation,” he said. Watson toured the site a week ago and met with James Boyle, founder of British rail consulting firm JBA Corp. Ottawa businessman tells incredulous judge he burned $ 1 M cash to keep it from ex - wife |

“I burnt it,” McConville explained.

“To the tune of how much?” the judge probed.

“In total, about a million and thirty-nine thousand dollars,” McConville said. (McConville later said he burned $1,050,000 in all.)

“How does destroying over a million dollars advance your child’s best interest?” the judge asked.

McConville admitted that he didn’t film the bonfires of cash, had no witnesses and didn’t record it in any fashion.

“You understand that’s hard to believe?” Justice Phillips told court.

“Yes, I do,” McConville agreed.

McConville said he burned it out of frustration with the divorce proceedings.

“It’s not something that I would normally do,” McConville explained. “I am not a person that is extremely materialistic. A little goes a long way. I have always been frugal. That’s why my business lasted for 31 years.”

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Phillips didn’t buy his story and on Jan. 28 ruled that it was “crystal clear” that McConville “ has very clearly and deliberately set out to thwart the court and the proper administration of justice.”

Phillips told McConville that if he doesn’t tell the truth in future court filings, he will face “penal consequences” that would make his 30-day term at the Innes Road jail seem “like a walk in the park.”

Before McConville was escorted out of court in handcuffs, the judge added: “You are making a mockery of this court, and its process, something I will not allow … You are conducting yourself with intent to deliberately and wilfully frustrate the proper administration of justice.

“More particularly, I find what you have done to be morally reprehensible because what you claim to have done wilfully and directly undermines the interests of your children,” Phillips said.

The judge then reminded McConville that he, like all parents, had an obligation to provide for his children. Instead, “you have set out to do damage to your children’s future by destroying, on purpose, the financial wherewithal that you had to provide for their best interests.”

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The judge said he had to send McConville to jail to send a clear message that court orders must be obeyed. After McConville serves his 30-day jail sentence, he faces severe financial penalties for every day he does not comply with court orders to file a full and honest account of his financial affairs, and notably where the $1-million in cash went.

The judge imposed a $2,000-per-day fine to be paid directly to his ex-wife. That’s $14,000 a week for a man who has long hidden his financial affairs from court, and his ex-wife.

The judge told McConville that the fines would be independent of any future child and spousal support.

Phillips warned: “It may well be, therefore, that your remaining assets, equity in the home and RRSPs, etc., end up entirely in the hands of (ex-wife). If that’s the result you are trying to bring about, then so be it. But you cannot thumb your nose at the court as you have done.”

The judge told court he didn’t think McConville set anything on fire, let alone $1-million in cash. “I don’t believe you. I don’t trust you. I don’t think you’re honest,” the judge told him.

“I urge you to get in compliance because that $2,000 a day is going to run up such that you lose everything,” the judge told McConville.

The lawyer representing McConville’s ex-wife told court the story was just more nonsense, and noted that while McConville claimed to have zero income, documents show he has around $9,000 in expenses a month.

McConville ran a failed bid for mayor in the last city election on a tough-on-crime platform.

gdimmock@postmedia.com

Twitter: @crimegarden

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