Lack of co-operation stymies investigation into B.C. mortgage broker and missing $225M, court hears
Efforts to dismantle the financial network of Victoria mortgage broker Greg Martel, WHO accused of running his business like a Ponzi schemehit a brick wall, according to investigators, in trying to track down the many millions he owes investors.
Receiver PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said in its report that Martel failed to comply with court orders to provide financial documents and a sworn list of assets and ignored communication requests.
The report also raises more serious concerns about Martel’s conduct and cites a letter from Martel attempting to move assets from one US bank to another, allegedly in order to get them out of the scope of the court order.
Martel and his company, My Mortgage Auction Corp (MMAC), also known as Shop Your Own Mortgage, owe hundreds, perhaps thousands, of investors $226 million, according to PwC’s list of unsecured creditors.
Martel’s whereabouts are uncertain, and so far investigators have not recovered the missing millions, nor have they found documents proving that the investments he sold actually existed.
Investor Ayla Stimpson came to the BC Supreme Court in Vancouver on Wednesday to witness the trial in person.
Stimpson, who is due to give birth to her first child in two weeks, put down $300,000 in November 2022 after two Shop Your Own Mortgage employees assured her the investment was sound.
“I don’t think I’ll ever see my money again,” he said. “It is becoming clear that he is not cooperating and there is no way to repay the investors what they are owed.”
Martell’s attorney, Richie Clark, argued in an email that his client has difficulty complying with court orders because he is “incompetent because he has received numerous death threats and threats of violence against his family.”
According to Clark, Martel also said he was having trouble accessing his records because employees at several of his companies had quit.
But Judge Shelley Fitzpatrick was having none of the excuses, telling Clark her client was putting himself at serious legal risk by ignoring the court.
“I think it’s obvious that the information requested will either be in his possession or controlled,” Fitzpatrick said.
“The receiver’s undisputed investigation … shows that he ran this company, and more critically, made these investments that these hundreds of investors want to know about in terms of recovering loans to the defendant. ”
Fitzpatrick reaffirmed a court order requiring Martel to submit records and a list of assets with a new deadline of May 26.
He also granted the receiver expanded investigative powers to pursue assets in the United States where Martel is involved in a number of companies, as well as a provision allowing him to place MMAC into bankruptcy if he deems it necessary.
“This court, including myself, does not take non-compliance with court orders lightly, and I sincerely hope. [Martel] would totally appreciate it,” Fitzpatrick said.
The next court session is on June 9.
#Lack #cooperation #stymies #investigation #mortgage #broker #missing #225M #court #hears