ACOA suing Consilient for $7.7M

Court Tech firm shuttered its offices in late 2008

Rob Antle rantle@thetelegram.com
Published on May 30, 2009

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is suing now-shuttered Consilient Technologies Corp. for $7.7 million.

According to court documents, the federal agency is seeking repayment for nine separate funding contributions it made to the company between 2000 and 2008.

ACOA made the last contribution in September 2008, just two months before Consilient was taken over by one of its creditors.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is suing now-shuttered Consilient Technologies Corp. for $7.7 million.

According to court documents, the federal agency is seeking repayment for nine separate funding contributions it made to the company between 2000 and 2008.

ACOA made the last contribution in September 2008, just two months before Consilient was taken over by one of its creditors.

The company's St. John's office closed in mid-November.

Almost all of the cash in question is principal, not interest, according to court documents.

ACOA filed a statement of claim at Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court last week seeking repayment of the money.

The federal agency declined comment until a judgment has been made in the matter.

In the past, ACOA officials have said they file lawsuits against insolvent companies to protect the interest of taxpayers.

Agency spokesman Doug Burgess told The Telegram last fall that insolvent companies with a substantial amount of operating loss on their books could be picked up by other companies to reduce their tax liabilities.

He said such court actions could prevent the loss of future tax revenues to the Crown.

Burgess was speaking about another case - not Consilient - at the time.

Meanwhile, Consilient president and CEO Trevor Adey could not be reached for comment.

Before the firm's closure last fall, Consilient was a long-time success story in the local tech sector.

The company was featured in The Wall Street Journal in 2007 for its Push e-mail product, which let regular cellphones send and receive e-mail from up to five accounts.

The same year, Consilient took top honours as the overall winner for the Asia Mobile Innovation Award.

At its peak, Consilient had offices in St. John's, San Francisco and Singapore.

rantle@thetelegram.com