A Saint John man and his son have been ordered to repay $510,000 to an elderly woman with dementia, who is described in court documents as being a family friend.
Now, a second related lawsuit has been filed against Carl Collins, who operated Collins Tours and Consulting Ltd. for decades.
Collins was granted power of attorney for Rhona Kennedy in 2005.
During the next five years, $912,390 of Kennedy's assets disappeared, court documents show.
Collins leased a Mercedes-Benz, paid for cruises and other trips for his late wife at Kennedy's expense, and charged Kennedy $59,000 to store her belongings in his garage after she was moved into a seniors home, the documents state.
Collins transferred $43,000 to an account held by his son, Gregory, who now runs the family business, ostensibly as an investment in a condominium on Kennedy's behalf.
About $100,000 in cash gifts were also made to members of the Collins family.
Niece had concerns
Kennedy's niece Ruth Susan McDowell, who lives in Ontario, filed a civil suit, citing concerns about the administration of Kennedy's finances.
Justice Peter Glennie, of the Court of Queen's Bench, appointed a third-party lawyer, Jack Blackier, who is also a forensic accountant, to review the extensive financial documents involved.
In interviews for the civil suit, Collins said the assets had been "gifted" to him. A will drafted after Collins assumed power of attorney showed he was to inherit Kennedy's estate, which would suggest he was simply spending his own money.
But a will only takes effect upon death, stressed Blackier.
In addition, he found Collins wasn't taxed on the money. Instead, Collins was allowing Kennedy's estate to pay the taxes. And because Collins was cashing in Kennedy's investments, her income was spiking and she was being taxed quite heavily.
"Carl Collins has been unable to demonstrate that he has not enjoyed, either directly or indirectly, the interest-free use of a substantial portion of Kennedy's assets over a period of approximately five years," Blackier concluded.
And while some of the spending on Kennedy's behalf could be justified, Collins used Kennedy's "financial affairs for purposes which he was either unwilling or unable to demonstrate were on behalf of or for the benefit of Kennedy," he said.
Blackier recommended Collins repay $466,000 and his son Gregory, $43,000.
The father and son both signed consent documents, agreeing to the court order.
Collins will also be responsible for about $125,000 in costs.
Power of attorney has been transferred back to Kennedy's niece.
New lawsuit filed by niece
When contacted by CBC News on Thursday for comment, Collins said there had just been a "comprehensive [civil] process that had been resolved to the satisfaction of everyone involved."
But a new civil suit has been filed against him. It alleges Collins was to "convey" three properties that he owed to Kennedy's niece as part of the settlement.
However, the statement of claim says it has been discovered that Collins is insolvent, or on the verge of insolvency, suggesting those properties may no longer be entirely his.
Collins has not yet filed a statement of defence and none of the allegations have been proven in court.
It's unclear whether there is any criminal investigation related to the case. Saint John police do not comment on investigations unless and until charges are laid.