Nova Scotia

Bryony House hires lawyer to deal with troubled home lottery

Bryony House has hired a lawyer as a result of its role in the troubled Dare to Dream Home Lottery.

Shelter plans to fight $250K management fee

The home on Willowhill Ridge in Waverley was billed as a $1.2 million dream home and has an assessed value of $788,000. (CBC)

Bryony House has hired a lawyer as a result of its role in the troubled Dare to Dream Home Lottery.

In a statement released Thursday, Bryony House says it has hired Patterson Law as a result of "many false statements that have been made, as well as the demand for payment of management fees."

Bryony House said it was "completely confident" in the "financial accounting of the lottery and the oversight of the ticket issuance and the awarding of all lottery prizes."

Earlier this week, CBC News reported that Maria Sancho — one of the two women who ran the lottery for Bryony House — was seeking a payment of almost $250,000 for her work on the lottery.

"Our payment will be requested no matter what. Nobody can give away their work and their life for a year," Sancho told CBC News.

Sancho also blames Bryony House and its executive director, Laurie Ehler, for interfering with the running of the lottery, which was managed by ALPC Housing Solutions.

That company's co-director, Kris Martin, used her five-bedroom home in Waverley in the lottery transactions.

Although she had previously stated that she had given up her home for the lottery, Martin had, in fact, sold her home to Bryony House for $1,075,000. After the home was raffled off in November, Martin bought the house back from the lottery winners for $620,000 — a difference of $455,000.

That's left some ticket holders saying they feel ripped off. Officials with the Alcohol and Gaming division of Service Nova Scotia are now looking into the lottery after a Dartmouth woman wrote a letter of complaint about how the lottery was managed.

Bryony House welcomes any possible review

In its statement, Bryony House said it worked closely with the Alcohol and Gaming division throughout the lottery to ensure it met all gaming regulations and adds it welcomes any possible review.

Bryony House said its $700,000 expansion is stalled because the lottery failed to make a profit. The shelter said nearly 23,000 tickets were sold. Revenue was also generated from a 50-50 draw.

Sancho, meanwhile, said almost 24,000 tickets were bought.

Secondary prizes were advertised and Sancho said fees to other contractors were paid out, accounting for a lottery that Bryony House said barely broke even.

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