Jeremy Crawford and wife say lottery winner's lawsuit victimizes them
Alberta Oil disputes Jeremy Crawford’s claim he was founding publisher
An Edmonton-area couple being sued by $50-million lottery winner Randall Rush says his allegations of fraud are false.
In Jeremy and Amy Crawford's first public response since the launch of Rush's lawsuit last month, they denied his claims and said they plan to file a statement of defence.
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"The allegations are false and we are being victimized," Amy Crawford wrote in an email to CBC News.
"The statement of defence will be filed and the facts will be released in due time."
In a statement of claim filed in Alberta, Rush said he invested more than $4.6 million of his winnings in Jeremy's company Kult Labs, an Alberta corporation incorporated in Arizona.
His wife Amy is also named in the lawsuit.
Rush said he was "induced" by representations made "fraudulently, deliberately, or recklessly, having no regard to their truth or accuracy."
He said Jeremy approached him within weeks of walking into a Lamont, Alta., grocery store to buy food for his cat Conway Kitty and discovering he had the winning lottery ticket.
The lawsuit also accuses Crawford of failing to register assets put up as security for Rush's investment including an Audi R8 sports car, a Sherwood park home and two Arizona properties.
None of Rush's allegations has been proven in court.
Publishing claim disputed
On his personal website, TheJerCraw.com, Jeremy Crawford says he was "the founding publisher" of Alberta Oil Magazine.
But the current publisher of that magazine challenges that claim.
She said Alberta Oil was purchased by Venture Publishing from Skinnyfish Media in Calgary four years after its launch.
"Jeremy Crawford was not associated with the magazine at that time.
Review of the first issues of the magazine do not mention him in any capacity and instead list three other individuals as the publishers of Alberta Oil at its inception," said Kelly.
U.S. judge upholds contempt ruling
The legal battle between Rush and the Crawfords is also playing out in a U.S. courtroom.
In a ruling last week, an Arizona judge upheld a previous decision finding Jeremy in contempt.
Judge Christopher Whitten ordered Crawford to pay $10,000 per day in fines retroactive to Dec. 7, 2015 when he took out an illegal loan on an Arizona property, violating a temporary restraining order.
The order prevented Jeremy from selling, transferring or encumbering several properties including those listed in Rush's lawsuit.
Court documents show Jeremy said he was not immediately informed of the restrictions and had asked the court to reconsider the contempt ruling due to the couple's dire financial situation.
Whitten said Jeremy "has led an incredibly lavish lifestyle" and found his testimony "completely lacking in credibility."
"The suit speaks for itself and is based on court records in the State of AZ all statements that were/are made under oath and are part of the court record," Rush said in a written statement provided to CBC News.