Deputy mayor lent Anne Squires $50K: report

Daniel MacEachern
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St. John’s Deputy Mayor Ron Ellsworth lent Exit Realty on the Rock CEO Anne Squires $50,000, according to a report by NTV.

Ron Ellsworth.

NTV Monday night reported on the high-interest personal loan from Ellsworth to Squires in January 2013, before Ellsworth returned to city council in the fall.

According to the report, Ellsworth’s loan was to be paid back with $10,000 in interest two months later, with an additional penalty of $5,000 every month afterwards. After a year, the cost of repayment would be $60,000, or 120 per cent of the value of the principal.

The Criminal Code prohibits interest rates higher than 60 per cent.

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Exit Realty on the Rock owner files defence in personal lawsuit

Police execute warrant at Exit Realty on the Rock office

Exit Realty on the Rock’s business licence was suspended by the province in February, and the company is now in receivership.

Squires is being sued by two others for repayment of loans — Joseph Greene of St. John’s claims to have lent Squires $150,000 in 2014, with just under $40,000 repaid, and Hantag Li claims he lent the company $100,000 at an interest rate of 32 per cent., Twitter: @DanMacEachern 


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Recent comments

  • e
    March 17, 2016 - 17:57

    "The Criminal Code prohibits interest rates higher than 60 per cent." So when will he be charged? One law for the rich another for the poor.

  • Rocky & Mugsy
    March 17, 2016 - 12:33

    Instead of the trolling and conjecture, take comfort in the fact Ron Ellesworth is $50,000 poorer because he is never going to see any of that money again.

  • Babs
    March 17, 2016 - 08:13

    If Mr. Ellsworth's loan to Exit Reality is still outstanding, does that mean that the $5000 interest charge per month is still accumulating? That's $60,000 per year x 3 years. So today the amount to be repaid on the $50,000 loan would be $10,000 + $180,000 for a total od $240,000. That's just outrageous. If this is LEGAL maybe we should all start lending money! Hey NL Govt., if Ron Ellsworth can do it, what an idea!

  • Alexander T.
    March 16, 2016 - 18:04

    Let me get this straight Roy, everything the lender did is none of our business but the 'story' on why the borrower needed it is fair game? This wasn't public and wouldn't have been if not for the collapse of the company and default on loans. Whenever there's an investigation and court filings, stuff like this becomes public. That's the reality of it. Canada's usury laws don't have much teeth in them and so - unlike places like New York where lenders have been indicted for exceeding the state's 25% cap on interest rates - it is unlikely that would happen here. A post from Al points out the loan wasn't made by an elected official but by a private citizen. Of course but other lenders were identified who weren't politicians. So what exactly is your point? Whether you like it or not, public officials are judged by their conduct in and out of office. Such loans might not be illegal but that doesn't mean they're going to meet with everyone's approval. I sympathize with people whose companies fail. I don't condone wrongdoing but in many cases owners would be better off if they pulled the plug sooner rather than get themselves into more difficulty by trying to hang on. The present downturn is a good time for government to review the laws on lending and other business practices that some people might regard as predatory. Part of the problem is that banks have all but given up lending money to small business in this country. And that leads to desperation.

  • roy206
    March 16, 2016 - 16:05

    He doesn't have to answer to the public on what he choses to do with his money. Is it any riskier than buying Nortel, or Blackberry or Valeant, or Enron.... The interesting info would be: what story was used as the reason for the loan and why such high returns were able to be justified...The big loans are also payday type loans..

  • Al
    March 16, 2016 - 15:49

    Hey Telegram reporter/editor/whatever. The Deputy Mayor did not lend the money. Ron Ellsworth, a private citizen at the time, lent the money. Mr. Ellsworth's position now as Deputy Mayor now has NO correlation with the action of providing a loan. Nothing like putting things into context, huh. Anything to sensationalize a headline and draw in the readers.

  • Marinus
    March 16, 2016 - 14:03

    look this loan was a private deal tween 2 independent adults with their own money involved. the public should have no interest (pun intended) in the matter. move on people. by the way I think Ellsworth will make a great mayor of st.John's.

  • Doug1947
    March 16, 2016 - 09:53

    What do you call usury? Feeding at the trough!

  • Calcutron
    March 16, 2016 - 09:46

    If you calculate the APR for this loan (if paid off on time) is is about 130% and according to Department of Justice. In Canada, loan-sharking is officially designated as a criminal offence if the effective rate (including fees and penalty payments) exceeds 60% per annum. Interesting I wonder why her is not talking.

  • DcinCBS
    March 16, 2016 - 09:28

    How do you spell "loan shark"?