Robert G. Miller steps down as CEO of Future Electronics amid allegations
Montreal billionaire denies historical allegations he paid teen girls cash and gifts for sex
Montreal businessman Robert G. Miller is stepping down as CEO of the company he founded, Future Electronics, in the wake of allegations he paid teens for sex.
The resignation came Thursday after an investigation from Radio-Canada's Enquête and CBC's The Fifth Estate published and broadcast that day revealed Miller paid underage girls cash and gifts in exchange for sex between 1994 and 2006.
In an internal memo sent to staff Thursday evening, Omar Baig, the new CEO and president of Future Electronics, said the 79-year-old Miller "adamantly and vehemently denies the malicious allegations made against him and confirms that they are false."
"Despite not being involved in the day-to-day operations for a number of years, Robert [G.] Miller is permanently stepping down as chairman, president and CEO to focus on his very serious health issues and devote his attention to pursuing legal action related to allegations made by the CBC," Baig wrote to employees.
Future Electronics is an electronic parts distributor that employs 5,500 people and has 170 offices in 44 countries.
Baig said Miller "cares too much about the organization, our employees, our suppliers and our customers to become a distraction for the company."
In a public press release published Friday morning, the company adds that the allegations "arose as a result of a bitter divorce."
Radio-Canada's Enquête reached out to Baig's office by phone, but received no comment.
Journalists at Enquête interviewed 10 women who say they were paid for sexual relations with Miller. Six of them say there were minors — between 14 and 17 — at the time of the allegations.
They say the meetings took place in large hotels in Montreal, then in a house in the Westmount neighbourhood, between 1994 and 2006.
Miller previously investigated by Montreal police
In 2009, the businessman and his entourage were the subject of an investigation by Montreal police's child sexual exploitation unit. No charges were laid.
In a tweet published the day after the CBC/Radio-Canada story, Quebec's crown prosecutor's office said any person with information related to this story should contact Montreal police. It added that any new elements could lead to a reopening of the investigation.
On Thursday, Quebec employees of Future Electronics received an email advising them not to come to the office on Friday, due to the extreme cold "and given the circumstances." That evening, a second email notified employees of Miller's resignation.
In a letter sent to CBC/Radio-Canada before the broadcast of the story, Miller's lawyer said his client suffered from Parkinson's disease and that this condition had caused severe erectile difficulties for the last 20 years.
He added that his client had never had a sexual relationship with a person under the age of consent, 14 years old at the time of the allegations. But Canada's Criminal Code is clear on the matter: paying for sex with minors is illegal.
WATCH | The Enquête/Fifth Estate documentary: