A Canadian businessman with cash to burn would rather set his money on fire than hand over a single cent to his ex-wife.
Bruce McConville, who has long been mired in divorce proceedings, remained behind bars in Ottawa on Wednesday. He’s currently serving a 30-day sentence handed to him by an incredulous judge, who has refused to believe the extreme measures McConville has taken to prevent his ex-wife from getting her hands on his assets, according to the Ottawa Citizen.
During an appearance in Ottawa Superior Court, the 55-year-old father told officials he withdrew $1 million from his account over a series of 25 different ATM transactions — only to set it all aflame.
He claimed that he burned $743,000 in a bonfire on Sept. 23 and another $296,000 on Dec. 15.
“It’s not something I would normally do,” he said. “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.”
McConville, who has repeatedly defied court orders to file an affidavit regarding his finances, is also accused of selling properties to a former accountant despite a court order forbidding him from liquidating any assets. His behavior has cast a cloud of mystery over his finances, making it difficult to determine how much he should be paying in child and spousal support.
According to the Citizen, McConville is not currently paying either.
He also stands accused of failing to pay the court $300,000 as a security deposit.
Superior Court Justice Kevin Phillips slammed McConville’s tale and questioned its truthfulness in court last month.
“How does destroying over a million dollars advance your child’s best interest?” Phillips pressed.
The judge in the end, could not bring himself to believe that McConville would light up his funds, saying it is “crystal clear” that he “has very clearly and deliberately set out to thwart the court and the proper administration of justice.”
Phillips on Jan. 28 sentenced McConville, who also launched a failed mayoral bid in 2018, to a month behind bars and encouraged him to reconsider his story. He additionally warned the businessman that his current stay in jail would seem like “a walk in the park” compared to the “penal consequences” he will be facing if does not tell the truth in future court filings.
Phillips also imposed a daily $2,000 fine to be paid by McConville to his ex-wife.
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