PC Leader Doug Ford faces lawsuit alleging millions withheld from late brother's family

Rob Ford's widow has launched a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against brothers-in-law Doug and Randy Ford and their family businesses, claiming she and her children were bilked out of millions of dollars.

Suit filed by Rob Ford's widow names Doug and Randy Ford and family companies as defendants

Doug Ford, pictured in 2016, announces a new book about his younger brother, the former Toronto mayor Rob Ford. Renata Ford, Rob's widow, stood beside him at the book launch announcement. (CBC)

Rob Ford's widow has launched a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against brothers-in-law Doug and Randy Ford and their family businesses claiming she and her children were bilked out of millions of dollars.

In the suit filed Friday in Ontario Superior Court, Renata Ford says Doug and his brother Randy, who run the Ford family businesses, "conspired together" to deprive her and her children of shares in the family company Deco Toronto and the proceeds of a life insurance policy. The brothers are trustees for their late brother's estate.

The allegations, none of which have been proven in court, come just three days before the Ontario provincial election, which sees Doug Ford's Progressive Conservatives in a neck-and-neck race against the New Democrats.

In a statement Monday, Doug Ford characterized the claims made in the lawsuit as "completely false," saying he has stood by his brother and family "through so many of their challenging times."

'Extravagant' salaries

"Renata's lawyers have been clear to us throughout this campaign, that either we hand over money, or they would go public with these false claims, and that is exactly what they have done, with three days to go until the election," a statement issued by Doug Ford said. 

The suit claims $5 million in damages for each of the three plaintiffs: Renata Ford and her two children, Stephanie and Douglas. It also claims a further $250,000 against each of the five defendants: three of Doug Ford's companies as well as Doug and his brother Randy.

The suit alleges that in the early part of 2017, Deco Companies was reorganized and that led to a loss of some $6 million.

After the death of Doug Ford Sr. in 2006, the suit claims, Doug and Randy Ford arranged for "extravagant" salaries for themselves, which included bonuses, travel and allowances for vehicles, "regardless of the financial performance" of the businesses.

Mother calls suit 'heartbreaking'

It goes on to claim that the brothers did not implement a business plan for the companies and that neither "have the education and business ability to justify their" positions as senior members of the companies, and that Doug Ford took funds from his brother's estate to help prop up his businesses in Toronto and Chicago.

A statement sent by a PC Party spokesperson on behalf of Diane Ford, mother of the Ford brothers, says "it is heartbreaking that Renata has chosen to bring forward these false and baseless allegations against our family, right in the middle of a provincial election campaign."

"Renata has serious struggles with addiction, and our hope is that she will accept help for the sake of herself and my grandchildren."

With files from Mike Crawley