The Sooke couple that previously owned the Sooke Harbour House has been given a hefty payout after a brutal battle for control of one of B.C.’s most renowned hotels.
The B.C. Supreme Court awarded Frederique and Sinclair Philip more than $4 million for what it called a “six-year odyssey of lies, excuses, threats, intimidation and bullying” by Timothy Durkin and his partner Rodger Gregory.
For more than 35 years, the Philip’s owned, operated, and built the hotel into a world-class destination.
In 2012, the Sooke couple chose to sell the hotel to begin their retirement. But after three failed deals, they decided to go with Timothy Durkin and Rodger Gregory in March 2014.
The Philips were led to believe that they would get $2 million, as Durkin claimed his company, SHH Holdings, had the funds to cover the mortgage and interest owed on the property.
SHH Holdings never raised more than $54,000 from investors.
“They [the Philip’s] thought they had found honest and reputable business people who would comply with their contractual obligations and pay for the hotel,” Justice Bill Basran stated in his 94-page ruling.
“The Philips’ reasonable expectation of a comfortable and well-deserved retirement has been effectively stolen from them because they unknowingly put their future in the hands of these two fundamentally dishonest individuals.”
Durkin swore a false affidavit in 2017 to get an injunction to remove the Philips name from the hotel after they tried taking back control of the property, Basran said.
On Tuesday, the judge ordered Durkin to pay for $2.65 million in compensatory damages for breaching a share-purchase agreement in 2014, but also a settlement agreement in 2015 and an addendum later that same year. There will be a 4.75 per cent interest to be paid on top of that amount dating back to August 2015.
Also, another $1.36 million is to be paid for damages from a 2017 injunction order.
This isn’t the only case Durkin has dealt with in court.
The Sooke man is suing Facebook for $50 million for an “imposter account” that appears to be trolling him.
The account features a photo of Durkin’s face and the background of a person in handcuffs and an orange prison jumpsuit.
Durkin is also fighting a 2017 deportation order from Canada after his alleged involvement in a U.S. Ponzi scheme. His hearing is expected in early November.
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