Bruce McConville, a businessman from Canada, has reportedly burned $1 million to ensure his ex-wife is unable to lay her hands on the money as part of a divorce settlement.
According to Ottawa Citizen, the 55-year-old businessman and “failed” mayoral candidate made the claims before a superior court judge.
During court hearing last week, he confessed selling properties and businesses behind his ex-wife after they both settled for a divorce.
He also revealed that after selling the properties, he withdrew $1 million and then set the money ablaze in two bonfires — $743,000 last September 23, and $296,000 on December 15, respectively — out of frustration.
His confession to making the sales comes after he reportedly defied several court orders which earlier directed that he should not sell the properties.
He had further defied a similar court order mandating him to pay the court $300,000 as a security.
But responding to questions from Kevin Phillips, the judge, McConville disclosed he made a withdrawal of $1,050,000 from six different bank accounts.
He also noted that though he still has the receipts from the ATMs, he is not longer in possession of the money.
“So where’s the money now?” Phillips had asked McConville in a series of questions. “I destroyed it,” McConville replied.
Apparently confused, the judge had pressed further: “You’ve lost me. What do you mean? Can I back you up a bit? When you say you destroyed it, what do you mean?.”
To the the shock of everyone, McConville replied “I burnt it,” a response which attracted a flurry of other questions from the judge.
“To the tune of how much?,” the judge quizzed.
“In total, about a million and thirty-nine thousand dollars,” McConville said — he later told the judge that he burned $1,050,000 in all.
“How does destroying over a million dollars advance your child’s best interest?,’ Phillips asked. “You understand that’s hard to believe?”
McConville had explained that his action was due to a misunderstanding he had with his daughter, adding he took the action out of frustration with the divorce proceedings.
“It’s not something that 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.”
He was consequently sentenced to 30-days jail term, with the judge warning he faces “penal consequences” if he doesn’t come out clear about his claims in future trials.
Aside the 30-jail term, the judge imposed a $2,000-per-day fine on McConville to be paid directly to his ex-wife.
His ex-wife’s counsel faulted the illogicality of McConville’s claim, stressing he spends around $9,000 in a month, despite claims he has a zero account.
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