Earl Jones declared bankrupt: fears for his life
Published Wednesday, August 19, 2009 1:01PM EDT
Disgraced West Island financier Earl Jones, accused of running a multi-million-dollar financial scam, was declared personally bankrupt by a Quebec court Wednesday amid claims that he's depressed and fears for his life.
Jones doesn't appear to have much left worth protecting from the horde of creditors who want a piece of his assets amid allegations that up to $50 million might have gone missing since 1985.
Now that Jones is bankrupt, investigators can subpoena witnesses, obtain documents and seize Jones' furniture and homes.
Jones, whose company was declared bankrupt last month, is free on bail after he was charged with four counts of fraud and four counts of theft.
He was not present in court and has not participated in proceedings against him.
Jones is listed as having three condominiums, including two in Quebec.
Bankruptcy trustee Gilles Robillard said the homes will at least generate some cash that Jones won't get his hands on.
"We will be putting the homes up for sale so I'm sure unless whoever buys it decides to rent him a room he will not be there any longer."
Bankruptcy lawyer Neil Stein says he hopes to soon subpoena Jones.
Trustees will also examine Jones' wife Maxine under oath to assess her involvement in the scheme in which more than 100 clients were bilked. Her assets could eventually be seized, as well.
There were questions Wednesday about Jones' safety and his mental state.
Sources tell CTV News that Jones is very depressed and his lawyer says the self-styled financier fears for his life.
Kevin Curran, whose mother lost $400,000 after investing with Jones, says the lawyer's comments don't surprise him.
"I would say if I was in Earl Jones' position I wouldn't want to walk outside," Curran said at the courthouse.
- With Files from The Canadian Press -