Man allegedly bilks investor for $1M in fraudulent Sooke Harbour House sale

Man allegedly bilks investor for $1M in fraudulent Sooke Harbour House sale
(Michael McArthur/CBC)
The internationally-renowned Sooke Harbour House resort hotel has hosted movie royalty and real-life dignitaries. The business was previously the subject of an ownership battle.

A Vancouver Island man who allegedly defrauded an investor of $1 million by claiming to have an ownership interest in Sooke Harbour House will go to a hearing next month, according to the British Columbia Securities Commission.

BSCS alleged that Timothy Durkin told the investor SHH Holdings Limited, where he was a director, owned Sooke Harbour House through a subsidiary.

The commission said Durkin told the investor that by buying 40 per cent of shares in SHH Holdings Limited, they would obtain 40 per cent ownership of Sooke Harbour House.

Durkin raised $1 million through the holdings company between December 2015 and March 2016, BSCS alleged.

“In reality, SHH did not have any ownership interest in the corporation that owned the hotel,” the BSCS said in a statement. “The investor did not recover any of the $1 million paid for the shares.”

According to the commission, Durkin and SHH committed fraud under the Securities Act by “deceiving the investor.”

The hearing will be held in November. None of the allegations against Durkin have been proven in court.

It’s the latest development in the complicated history of the once-renowned hotel, nestled on Whiffin Spit.

In September 2020, a B.C. Supreme Court judge brought an end to what he called a “six-year odyssey of lies, excuses, threats, intimidation and bullying” by Durkin, who entered a share purchase agreement with owners Frederique and Sinclair Phillip.

The Philips believed they’d receive $6 million in the deal, but documents revealed that Durkin had only raised $54,000 by February 2015. Despite that, he ultimately took control over the operations of the resort and later filed an injunction based on a false affidavit to keep the couple off the property.

The judge awarded the Philips $4 million in damages, but the couple said their losses from the fraudulent deal wiped out their lifes’ savings.


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