Legal battle brews over one of Yellowknife's busiest bars
Some owners accused of making backdoor deal to seize control of business
A battle for control of one of Yellowknife's busiest bars has spilled into the courts.
Some of the original partners in the Black Knight Pub are asking a judge to cancel what they say was a backdoor deal to seize control of the thriving business.
The Black Knight has been a popular watering hole since it opened 15 years ago. However, behind the scenes, things started to sour about three years ago, soon after the death of Gordon Wray, a former territorial cabinet minister and one of five original owners.
According to court documents, the dispute centres on shares in the business which once belonged to another of the original owners, Brian Fraser.
Fraser, a business consultant, ran into difficulties when one of his clients accused him of funneling $700,000 into his own businesses.
The client, Denendeh Investments, ended up getting Fraser's shares in the Black Knight.
In a sworn statement, another of the bar's founders, Bogus Zdyb, said the remaining owners reached an agreement with Denendeh Investments to buy the shares back for $310,000.
One of the silent partners — former deputy minister Dwight Noseworthy — was appointed to close the deal. But, according to Zdyb, instead of buying the shares for the business, Noseworthy bought them for himself and Wray's widow, Rita — giving them majority control of the business.
Four of the original owners are now asking a judge to declare the deal invalid.