A Canadian businessman is accused of burning over a million dollars in cash in order to keep it from his ex-wife, The Ottawa Citizenreports. The judge isn’t 100 percent convinced, and sent the man to jail for 30 days to re-think whether or not his claim is true.
Bruce McConville has been involved in a divorce that, to put it charitably, has been messy. So loathe is the 55-year-old Ottawa businessman to give his ex-wife even a penny that he’s allegedly defied multiple court orders to reveal his finances.
Specifically, he’s accused of selling some of his properties to his former accountant, even though a court order specified that he was not to liquefy any assets. What’s more, he has allegedly not produced any documentation to show how much money he made from those sales, in defiance of a court order.
He’s also been ordered to pay the court $300,000 to be held in escrow, which he has allegedly failed to do.
Things reached a head in a courtroom last week when he told Superior Court Justice Kevin Phillips that he (McConville) had withdrawn just over a million dollars, in multiple transactions at multiple banks, and even had receipts to back up his claim that he’d made the withdrawals.
And as for the cash? McConville claims he burned it: $743,000 in September, and $296,000 in December, all in a bid to keep his ex-wife from getting any of it.
The judge wasn’t convinced.
“You understand that’s hard to believe?,” the judge asked, to which McConville agreed.
McConville further noted that he didn’t have any video evidence of the supposed bonfires where he burned over a million dollars.
Phillips gave the businessman some time to reconsider whether or not he wants to stick with his story, to the tune of a 30-day stay in jail.
“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 willfully frustrate the proper administration of justice,” reminding McConville that if he doesn’t start cooperating, he’ll be looking at a jail sentence that will “be a walk in the park” compared to a 30-days stint.
The judge also accused McConville of harming the future of his children in his bid to spite his ex-wife.
After McConville does his time, he’ll be fined $2,000 per day that he doesn’t provide a satisfactory accounting of his finances, including the missing million in cash. The judge warned him that the longer he holds out, the more likely it is that every last penny of his will end up in his ex-wife’s bank account.