Summons Issued Over Loan For Hotel Project

May 10, 2018

Summons to appear in Magistrates Court have been issued in connection with the loan for the Par La Ville hotel project, including one to Corporation Secretary Ed Benevides, with the City confirming that he has now been “placed on administrative leave.”

While only one summons has been officially confirmed, unofficial reports suggest at more may have been served, with the other people not employed by the Corporation, and it is understood that the court date listed on all the summons is June 4th.

The matter has been ongoing for some time, starting when MIF, an overseas company, extended an $18 million loan to Par-la-Ville Hotel and Residences Ltd [PLV], with the Corporation of Hamilton apparently signing on as the guarantor.

PLV was supposed to develop a hotel on the Par-La-Ville car park, and the $18 million was a bridging loan which was supposed to be used to secure financing for the hotel development, and the funds were not repaid.

Mayor Charles Gosling said, “I can confirm that The Corporation Secretary, Mr. Ed Benevides has been served with a summons to appear before Magistrate’s Court on June the 4th.

“This matter is to do with the releasing of funds from an escrow account to be used in seeking a permanent major investor for the Par la Ville Hotel project almost 4 years ago. I understand other parties have been charged in the same matter.

“On assuming office three years ago myself and the newly elected Council Members were made aware of the release of the escrow funds and the guarantee that the Corporation was said to support. We have spent many hours correcting the actions of the prior council, including taking action to void the guarantee as this was outside that council’s legal remit.

“We are very familiar with the situation. If we had discovered any criminal action during this time frame we would have acted on this prior to the summons being issued.”

The Mayor confirmed that it was decided in a meeting of the Corporation’s Council to “follow best practice and that Mr. Benevides would be placed on administrative leave.”

“At present there are several cases involving a variety of players before the local courts regarding the guarantee in one form or the other, one in New York, an action in the UK to recover some of the monies lost through an ill-considered investment and a Privy Council appeal to be held in October in London. That being said I will decline further comment,” Mayor Gosling added.

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