Bruce McConville is a businessman from Ottawa, Canada, who told a judge that he burned $1 million dollars to keep it away from his ex-wife. He appeared in court last week before Superior Court Justice Kevin Phillips following a contempt motion.
According to an Ottawa Citizen report of McConville’s court appearance, the businessman told the judge that he had taken out 25 withdrawals from six different bank accounts for a total of $1,050,000. Although he said he still had the receipts to prove it, he no longer has the money.
When the judge pushed McConville for more information about where the money is located, the Citizen reports that McConville answered simply: “I burnt it.” He told the judge the money was burned in two different bonfires, one for $743,000 on September 23, and $296,000 on December 15.
The judge gave McConville a 30-day sentence in jail, and he also faces “severe financial penalties” for each day he ignores court requests to provide his financial details. The judge also ordered McConville to pay $2,000 each day to his ex-wife, regardless of any decisions on child and spousal support.
McConville Was in Court for Failure to Pay Child and Spousal Support
The businessman has ignored many court orders to reveal his finances. According to the Ottawa Citizen, McConville ignored requests from the court to file affidavits about his finances and has not paid any child or spousal support.
The court alleges that he sold his businesses and properties despite an order not to and even sold some of those assets to his former accountant. The court also requested that McConville pay $300,000 to the court as a security, which he failed to do. All of these attempts by McConville to hide his financial affairs from the court led to the contempt motion and his appearance in court last week.
The Judge Was Skeptical About His Claim
The judge told McConville that it was hard to believe he had burned all that money, especially since there is no proof or a witness.
According to the Citizen’s report of the court case, the judge asked: “How does destroying over a million dollars advance your child’s best interest?” McConville told him that he was frustrated with his divorce case, which is why he burned it.
The judge ruled that McConville was deliberately trying to avoid the payments and stated he didn’t believe the story, saying: “You are making a mockery of this court, and its process, something I will not allow.”
McConville Is a Longtime Businessman and Unsuccessfully Ran to Become Mayor of Ottawa
In 2018, McConville ran a campaign to become the new mayor of Ottawa. A website outlining the Mayoral race candidates indicates that McConville was born and raised in Ottawa and is the president of an auto repair shop. He lost two races to become a city councilor for his neighborhood before deciding to run as mayor.
The issues that he spoke about the most, according to his website, were fiscal responsibility, private housing instead of shelters to tackle homelessness, and a tougher stance on crime. Below is a video from McConville’s campaign outlining his plan.
McConville lost the election, obtaining 1.64% of the vote.