A Canadian businessman, who was once a mayoral candidate was thrown in jail for 30 days after telling a judge he burned 1 million Canadian dollars in cash in two separate bonfires. According to the media reports, he did so because he wanted to avoid paying his wife spousal and child support as part of their divorce settlement.
In an Ottawa Superior Court hearing last week, Bruce McConville, 55, told a judge he withdrew about 1 million Canadian dollars (Rs 5.5 crores approx) in 25 separate withdrawals from six separate bank accounts. He then claimed to have burnt the cash in two bonfires – $743,000 (Rs 4 crore) on September 23 and balance on December 15.
McConville claimed to have receipts to prove he withdrew the money. He said he did not record the bonfires and no one witnessed him set the cash ablaze.
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Superior Court Justice Kevin Phillips shockingly asked,
Can I back you up a bit? When you say you destroyed it, what do you mean?
To which McConville replied,
I burnt it.
The judge further said,
It’s not something that I would normally do.
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.
The judge told him that he did not believe this version of the man and said,
I find what you have done to be morally reprehensible because what you claim to have done wilfully and directly undermines the interests of your children.
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McConville had liquidated his properties and businesses to his former accountant and encashed his entire fortune. This is the money he later claimed to have burnt. The court noted this as a direct violation of a order that restricted him from selling his assets. The court also said that he had failed to file an affidavit disclosing his finances to the court.
The judge sentenced McConville to 30 days in jail for violating the court orders. He ordered McConville to pay $2,000 a day to his ex-wife for every day he fails to disclose his finances to the court moving forward.
Before McConville was escorted out of court in handcuffs, the judge added,
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 wilfully frustrate the proper administration of justice.
McConville ran for mayor of the Canadian capital city in 2018 on a tough-on-crime platform but failed to oust incumbent Jim Watson, who’s held the office since 2010.
Men’s Day Out is not just against Gender Biased Laws, but also against anyone who thinks can fool the system. Indeed in this case, the man was in violation of the court order and his reasoning too seemed frivolous. We sincerely hope, similar stern practices are adopted by every court in India, where women and men randomly lie, fudge documents and even mock the law because there is no fear of conviction.