The failed mayoral candidate claimed he threw the cash on two separate bonfires to avoid paying spousal and child support.
A Canadian man caught up in a bitter divorce battle has some money to burn. Or did rather.
Bruce McConville from Ottawa told a Superior Court judge last week that he set fire to CA$1 million to avoid paying his ex-wife spousal and child support, according to the Ottawa Citizen.
The 55-year-old was sentenced to 30 days in jail after he claimed he sold properties and businesses -- a violation of court orders -- to obtain the cash, which he said he turned to ashes in two separate bonfires: CA$743,000 last September and CA$296,000 in December.
During a contempt motion last week, McConville told Superior Court Justice Kevin Phillips he managed to obtain a total of CA$1,050,000 over 25 withdrawals from six different bank accounts, insisting he had receipts from the ATMS, but not the cash.
"So where's the money now?" Justice Phillips asked, according to the news outlet's sources who were at the trial.
"I destroyed it," McConville replied.
"You've lost me. What do you mean?" the judge inquired. "When you say you destroyed it, what do you mean?"
"In total, about a million and thirty-nine thousand dollars," McConville said.
"How does destroying over a million dollars advance your child's best interest?" Justice Phillips asked. "You understand that's hard to believe?"
McConville explained there were no witnesses when he set the cash ablaze and he did not record it.
"It's not something that I would normally do," McConville admitted to the judge. "I am not a person that is extremely materialistic. A little goes a long way. I have always been frugal. That's why my business lasted for 31 years."
Justice Phillips was not buying the story saying, "I don't believe you. I don't trust you. I don't think you're honest," adding McConville "has very clearly and deliberately set out to thwart the court and the proper administration of justice" and is "making a mockery of this court."
The judge continued his strong words for McConville, who he said had better come up with what happened to the money in future court dates or his current 30-day sentence will seem "like a walk in the park." He also imposed a $2,000-per-day fine during his jail stint to be paid directly to his ex-wife.
"More particularly, I find what you have done to be morally reprehensible because what you claim to have done willfully and directly undermines the interests of your children," the judge added.
"You have set out to do damage to your children's future by destroying, on purpose, the financial wherewithal that you had to provide for their best interests," the judge continued.
'It may well be, therefore, that your remaining assets end up entirely in the hands of ex-wife. If that's the result you are trying to bring about, then so be it. But you cannot thumb your nose at the court as you have done."
McConville threw his hat in the mayoral election of the Canadian capital city in 2018. His failed attempt ran on a tough-on-crime platform, according to his Facebook page.