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