A Canadian businessman recently claimed he burned over $1 million in cash in order to keep it from his ex-wife, the Ottawa Citizen reports. The judge isn’t 100 percent convinced and sent the man to jail for 30 days to rethink 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 liquidate 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 $300,000 to be held in escrow, which he has purportedly failed to do.
Things reached a head in a courtroom last week when McConville told Superior Court Justice Kevin Phillips that he had withdrawn just over $1 million in multiple transactions from multiple accounts, and even had receipts to back up his claim that he’d made the withdrawals.
McConville then added that he burned the cash — $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?” he reportedly asked, to which McConville agreed.
The businessman further noted that he didn’t have any video evidence of the supposed bonfires where he burned all that money.
Phillips then gave him 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,” the judge reportedly said, 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 month-long stint.
Phillips 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 $1 million. Judge Phillips 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.