Bruce McConville, a Canadian businessman and former failed mayoral candidate who ran on a tough-on-crime platform (which seems especially relevant here), is reportedly so intent on not paying child support that he told a judge in Superior Court that he set fire to more than $1 million cash, according to The Ottawa Citizen.
That judge, however, isn't buying his claim.
The 55-year-old aroused the judge's suspicions when he said that he got the money after selling properties and businesses behind the back of his ex. He says he then lit up $743,000 in September and an additional $296,000 in December.
This insane move (if true) is just McConville's latest effort to subvert a court order that dictated he file an affidavit over his finances, which the Ottawa Citizen notes remain a complete mystery.
Because it's unclear just how much he brings in, the courts are unable to calculate how much he should pay in child and spousal support.
During a contempt motion last week, McConville told judge Kevin Phillips that he made up to 25 withdrawals from half-dozen bank accounts to rack up $1,050,000 in cash. He says that he "destroyed it," prompting Phillips to say, "You’ve lost me. What do you mean?”
After what was described as "rambling," McConville stated that he "burnt it." In response, the judge asked, "How does destroying over a million dollars advance your child’s best interest?"
McConville's alleged move triggered further suspicion from the judge when he admitted that he didn't record the burning, or do it in front of any witnesses. He stated that he understands that his claim is hard to believe.
“It’s not something that I would normally do,” McConville explained. “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.”
On January 28, Phillips officially called BS and said it was "crystal clear" that McConville "has very clearly and deliberately set out to thwart the court and the proper administration of justice."
McConville was sentenced to 30 days in a Canadian jail, and was threatened with future incarceration that would make that seem like a "walk in the park."
After lecturing McConell on what an overall pain in the ass he's been, the judge pointed out the businessman's obligation to provide for his kids, saying “you have set out to do damage to your children’s future by destroying, on purpose, the financial wherewithal that you had to provide for their best interests.”
In addition to waving a middle finger at this court order, McConville also has reportedly failed to comply with a separate order that told him not to sell his properties. He ended up doing just that (selling assets to his ex-accountant) while also refusing to pay $300,000 to the court as a security.
For the crime of burning (read: lying about burning) his money, McConville's penalty will be a 30-day sentence, with an added bonus of a $2,000 per day fine until he gives an honest account of his finances to the court. The judge says that that fine also won't count as future child or spousal support.
“It may well be, therefore, that your remaining assets, equity in the home and RRSPs, etc., end up entirely in the hands of (your ex-wife)," said Phillips. "If that’s the result you are trying to bring about, then so be it. But you cannot thumb your nose at the court as you have done.”
He added that he urges McConville "to get in compliance because that $2,000 a day is going to run up such that you lose everything."