The organizer of Mud Immortal was in personal bankruptcy the entire time he promoted the controversial race — an event that generated up to hundreds of thousands in revenues, sparked a series of consumer complaints, and led to a review of provincial government policy and legal action.
In fact, Jonathan Brett remains in bankruptcy today.
And the trustee handling the file is opposing Brett’s discharge, saying he has failed to provide necessary financial information, pay required fees, and participate in the process.
Brett declared bankruptcy in March 2012.
Under federal law, those in bankruptcy must advise the trustee of any changes in their financial situation.
In Brett’s case, it’s not clear whether that happened.
He has not responded to repeated CBC Investigates phone and e-mail messages.
More than 5,000 people participated in Mud Immortal, a five-kilometre adventure race held in Butter Pot Provincial Park on Sept. 21.
Brett was the face and voice of Mud Immortal, doing pre-race promotional work and interviews.
But he has kept a low profile since the race, which sparked social media outrage over organizational problems and safety issues.
The entry fee per person topped out at $86.50, suggesting total revenues in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
It’s not clear where the money went.
The event website included a waiver form with the corporate name Mud Immortal Inc.
However, it is not registered to do business by that name in Newfoundland and Labrador.
People in bankruptcy are not permitted to act as a company director in this province.
It’s not known exactly what role Brett had with Mud Immortal Inc.
Government permitted use of park
According to documents obtained under provincial access-to-information laws, the Department of Environment did little to no due diligence on Mud Immortal before agreeing to allow use of the park, free of charge, for the event.
Now taxpayers could end up on the hook.
A participant is suing the organizers — and the province — after being injured in a fall from a monkey bars obstacle during the race. Her allegations have yet to be tested in court.
Brett has left a trail of financial troubles behind him in the past.
Federal bankruptcy filings show that while Brett was organizing Mud Immortal, he faced more than $113,000 in unpaid debts.
Several people to whom Brett is listed as owing money are former employees of a previous business he once ran. That business is now inactive. Under Newfoundland and Labrador law, company directors can be held personally liable for unpaid wages.
That now-inactive company did not repay roughly $600,000 in loans and contributions from Ottawa and the province, according to government records. But Brett is not personally liable for that cash.
Another debt in his personal bankruptcy filings — one that he is personally responsible for — relates to a loan for a Jaguar car.
Brett filed for bankruptcy in Alberta, where he was living in early 2012. But most of his debts are to people or businesses in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Calgary-based trustee for his bankruptcy, Deloitte Restructuring, declined to discuss the file when reached by CBC Investigates.
'The bankrupt has failed to provide the trustee with monthly income and expense statements for April 2012 to present and any applicable surplus income payments.' - Nov. 20, 2013, filing by trustee Deloitte Restructuring
But in a document dated Nov. 20, the trustee indicated it is opposing Brett’s discharge from bankruptcy.
“The bankrupt has failed to pay the trustee’s costs of administration and the cost of the first and second counselling sessions as agreed,” the trustee’s filing noted.
“The bankrupt has failed to provide the trustee with monthly income and expense statements for April 2012 to present and any applicable surplus income payments. The bankrupt has failed to supply the trustee with the income tax information necessary to file the pre and post bankruptcy income tax returns. The bankrupt has failed to attend the second counselling session as required.”
A hearing into the matter is scheduled to be held in February.
RCMP investigating Mud Immortal
In October, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police confirmed that they are looking into the event.
At the time, Sgt. Rod Tiller said the Holyrood detachment had received formal complaints from six Mud Immortal participants.
Contacted this week, Tiller said the matter remains under investigation, but declined further comment.
There have been no charges filed.