Greg Martel, a Victoria man whose company has gone into receivership, continues to face more trouble.
On Tuesday, receiver Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) released its third report detailing the latest findings from its investigation into the company.
The report notes that Martel has refused to respond to the receiver’s numerous requests for information and has failed to provide a list of assets as required by the courts.
In response, a letter from Martel’s lawyer included in the report says Martel hasn’t been able to complete the list because he is out of the jurisdiction due to several death threats and threats of violence against his family.
PWC asked the courts Wednesday morning for authorization to assign Martel’s company into bankruptcy, if necessary, which the judge approved along with another request to add six more companies Martel is involved with to the list of defendants.
“There are a web of entities, a web of bank accounts, a web of investment trading accounts, and in one case, as you’ll see, a cryptocurrency account,” PWC lawyer Peter Rubin told the courts Wednesday while also noting there is a significant lack of information when it comes to the bridge loans hundreds of people were reportedly investing in.
“Mr. Martel has provided no information about where that money went, to whom, copies of agreements, ledgers, statements, and that is, in my submission, in clear breach of the existing orders.”
Rubin repeatedly pointed out the lack of cooperation from Martel, which Martel’s lawyer Ritchie Clark didn’t appear to refute.
Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick told Clark to instruct his client to respond, saying, “My ability to wait for this information is waning also, and that he will face significant jeopardy, legal jeopardy if he doesn’t start cooperating.”
Fitzpatrick noted that ongoing refusal to cooperate could lead to contempt proceedings and possibly even incarceration.
Martel came under the spotlight earlier this month when one of his companies, Shop Your Own Mortage, was hit with 11 civil lawsuits from lenders who alleged that they hadn’t been paid.
Matters worsened when B.C.’s Supreme Court put his company into receivership. The order was later reconsidered, and more than 50 people attended the Vancouver Law Court while another 350 watched online as Peter Rubin, a lawyer for PWC, went through some of the details the receiver had discovered while looking into the company and its accounts.
“The debtor’s bank account at RBC had a balance of only $273. The receiver noted that during the period, so this is the six-month period, $58 million was deposited and then withdrawn from that account,” Rubin told the court.
He later noted that “shareholder advances were used to fund various personal expenses including private jets, luxury apartment rentals, event tickets and vehicle purchases and home escrow payments.”
At the end of the 2.5-hour hearing, the judge approved the receiver’s request to add two related corporations to the receivership order, including Martel Investments Ltd., based in B.C. and Shop Your Own Mortgage Corp., based in California.
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-With files from CHEK’s April Lawrence