The owners of a luxury home in Waverley, N.S., may have to pay a former business partner hundreds of thousands of dollars over a failed bid to raise money for the Bryony House women's shelter, a judge has ruled.
Kris Martin and Maria Sancho were partners in ALPC Housing Solutions, a company they created to build low-cost housing.
The pair pitched the idea of a lottery to Bryony House as a way to pay for repairs and expansion to the shelter.
The Dare to Dream lottery was established and Kris Martin sold her own luxury home to Bryony House to serve as the top prize. She and her husband Jacques sold the home for just over $1 million. Kris Martin indicated repeatedly to ticket buyers that she was prepared to buy the home back from the eventual winner.
Ticket sales lagged far below expectations and despite extending the sales period, the lottery failed to generate much money.
Sold for over $1M, bought for $621K
In the end, a young couple from Nova Scotia won the home. And, as she had indicated previously, Martin negotiated with the couple to re-purchase the property. She and her husband closed a deal in November 2014 for $621,000, far less than what Bryony House had paid them to buy the home for the lottery.
A Supreme Court judge ruled that Kris Martin failed in her duty as an officer in ALPC Housing Solutions.
"As a director Ms. Martin owed a fiduciary duty to ALPC of loyalty, good faith, honesty and avoidance of conflict of duty and self-interest," Justice Richard Coughlan wrote in his decision.
The judge said Martin failed in that duty by not keeping her partner Sancho informed.
"I find Ms. Martin did not make full disclosure to ALPC of her discussions with the lottery winners or the proposed purchase of the Willowhill Ridge property and did not obtain consent from ALPC to purchase the property."
The judge has ordered Kris and Jacques Martin to provide a detailed accounting of what they paid for the house, plus any expenses they incurred. The difference between that amount and the $1 million dollars paid at the start of the lottery are owed to ALPC.
Kris Martin is no longer a partner in that company, which is now solely run by Maria Sancho.