by BETTER FARMING STAFF
© Copyright AgMedia Inc
A bankruptcy inspector for a former Waterloo, Ontario business is petitioning the business’ former owner into personal bankruptcy.
On Nov. 3, Jim Wiersma, of Fisherville, Ontario, applied to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Bankruptcy and Insolvency to declare Arlan Galbraith bankrupt. Dec. 3 is the application’s court date.
Galbraith is the founder of Pigeon King International, which sold pigeon breeding pairs for as much as $500 and bought back offspring for up to $50 each. The business, which had breeders in Canada and the United States, abruptly closed its doors in June, leaving roughly 1,000 investors with worthless pigeons.
The company’s bankruptcy trustee, BDO Dunwoody Limited, estimates PKI’s liabilities could reach $40 million over the $135,000 that remains after liquefying assets. Former business associates say debts from multi-year breeding contracts taken on by Galbraith personally as well as his other companies could amount to hundreds of millions.
In a telephone interview today, Galbraith declined comment on whether he was aware of an action proceeding against him. He says he hasn’t been served legal notice but would be available if someone wanted to serve him.
“I’m readily available,” says Galbraith – “always have been.”
Galbraith notes that he finds it “a little bit absurd” that people might think they were dealing with him personally since the 2007 incorporation of PKI. “Everybody was doing business with the corporation.”
“They can claim they were (dealing with him personally) but obviously I would dispute that, right?” he says.
Asked if he has legal counsel, Galbraith replies he always had legal counsel. He then asks a reporter if they have retained counsel. “Maybe someday you’ll get sued,” he warns.
Court staff also confirm there are plans to file an application for an interim receiver for Galbraith.
BDO spokesperson Susan Taves says an interim receiver “allows us to step in with more authority with a court order between the time of applying for the bankruptcy order and actually getting the order on Dec. 3. And it’s just because it’s such a large gap of time.”
The Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada’s website says an interim receiver can be authorized to: take possession and exercise control of all or part of a debtor’s property or business and other action “as the court considers advisable.”
Wiersma’s application requests that BDO’s Kitchener office be appointed as Galbraith’s trustee.
Wiersma’s lawyer, Frank Highley, was not immediately available for comment. BF
© Copyright AgMedia Inc