Nfld. & Labrador

Court documents detail Ron Ellsworth's denials in Anne Squires' loan lawsuit

A high-interest loan between Anne Squires and the St. John's Deputy Mayor was paid back by legal standards and consenting terms, Ellsworth claims.

Ellsworth's statement of defence refutes every allegation levelled at him

St. John's Deputy Mayor Ron Ellsworth is being sued by Anne Squires, owner of the defunct Exit Realty on the Rock, for more than $137,000. (Meghan McCabe/CBC)

A high-interest loan between Anne Squires and St. John's Deputy Mayor Ron Ellsworth made in 2013, that has since become the subject of a lawsuit against him, was paid back by legal standards and consenting terms, Ellsworth claims. 

In a statement of defence filed to the province's Supreme Court, Ellsworth stated Squires is not entitled to any repayments and denies he sent "aggressive emails and texts" demanding money.

He insisted their deal was predicated on terms agreed upon by both parties, and was not in violation of the Criminal Code.

​Squires, owner of the now-defunct Exit Realty on the Rock, is suing Ellsworth for $137,000. The lawsuit, filed on Sept. 6, comes after she borrowed $50,000 from Ellsworth in January 2013 and allegedly paid back more than $190,000.

Ellsworth denied any funds paid to him by Squires were an overpayment for "any reason whatsoever."

Breaking the silence

The statement of defence is the first piece of information detailing Ellsworth's side of the story. He had denied to comment on specifics to CBC News when approached earlier this month.

In April, a document came to light indicating the terms of the $50,000 loan, to be paid back with a $10,000 cost-of-borrowing fee two months later. In her statement of claim filed in August, Squires also alleged Ellsworth charged daily "late fees" of $500 a day.

All five paragraphs in Squires' statement were denied in Ellsworth's claim. 

Laws under the Criminal Code of Canada prohibit interest rates exceeding 60 per cent per year, and the terms under which Squires agreed to the loan appear to be well in excess of this maximum.

According to documents outlining the deal obtained in March, the interest Squires was required to pay appears to be well in excess of those legal limits, though it could be difficult to prove.

Money troubles

Squires has been in plenty of hot water on her own in the past year.

In February, it was revealed through an information to obtain a search warrant (ITO) that the RNC was investigating her company on allegation of theft, fraud and breach of trust. It was alleged she had taken money from a trust account, which belonged to clients, and that she made false purchase and sales agreements for a real commission. 

In the warrant documents, an employee alleged that Squires owed AccessEasyFunds in Ontario roughly $528,000, and said Squires needed to find $100,000, "or we are all going to jail."