Scott Hutchinson has been running a general contracting company in Saanich with his son for the past five years, but little could have prepared him for an email that landed in his inbox Tuesday.
“It was an interesting email for sure, and pretty shocking,” Hutchinson said.
The email, from receiver PricewaterhouseCoopers, said records show Hutchinson Contracting owes close to $15 million to Greg Martel’s company, My Mortgage Auction, for three loans the contractor apparently took out earlier this year.
Hutchinson says that’s a complete fabrication.
“We’ve had no association, we’ve never asked for or received any funds, never been part of any discussions around financing, and we’re just not in that business,” he said.
Martel’s company was placed in receivership in early May after investors claimed millions of dollars in money owed. Martel would offer opportunities to invest in short-term bridge loans for local construction projects in need of cash, promising lenders returns of nine to 20 per cent or more.
But more and more investors started coming forward saying they have not been paid back, and the receiver believes roughly a quarter of a billion dollars is owed.
Hutchinson says he has no clue how he’d ended up on a list showing he owes My Mortgage Auction close to $15 million, but he says he did sign up to be an investor last year, although he never followed through. In a phone call with PricewaterhouseCoopers today, he says they didn’t seem surprised when he told them he’s never borrowed a cent from Greg Martel.
“Honestly, they were not shocked, they weren’t coming in and saying, ‘No, you have that money and show me the money.’ They were going, ‘Okay, thank you very much. Can you write us a letter to explain this?’ Because I don’t think there was anything backing the list he’d given them, there was no banking information, I don’t know what was there, but it wasn’t much.”
Greg Martel hasn’t responded to our texts and emails, and his lawyer says he can’t comment. Martel is not facing any criminal charges. His receivership hearing continues on Friday.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story contained an image showing blueprints by Adapt Design Inc. Adapt Design Inc. is not involved in any way in the ongoing receivership investigation into Greg Martel and his companies and the image has been removed.