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Gary Ng, the former owner of brokerage company PI Financial Corp., at the Fairmont Winnipeg Hotel.Mikaela MacKenzie /Winnipeg Free Press

Just weeks after Gary Ng, the former owner of brokerage company PI Financial Corp., was reported to the authorities for allegedly forging documents and inflating his net worth, the young financier created a family trust that was used to hold millions of dollars in assets – including a number of luxury properties.

Serena Lee, Mr. Ng’s ex-wife, has filed a lawsuit alleging that Mr. Ng has abused the family trust, arguing that she was supposed to be the sole beneficiary as part of a court-approved divorce settlement earlier this year.

Instead, she alleges, the trust document lists beneficiaries other than herself, and the properties held by the trust – including a mansion with helicopter pad on Lake Simcoe in Ontario – have been heavily mortgaged.

“The trust appears to have been created right after a regulatory investigation was commenced against Gary and its purpose appears to be the evasion of Gary’s creditors as opposed to a means to honour his obligations pursuant to [the divorce order],” Ms. Lee alleged in a recent court filing.

Ms. Lee is seeking a court order declaring that the Oogi 2007 Family Trust – which is named after the couple’s dog, Oogi – is “a sham.” She has asked the courts to place notices of pending litigation on the properties, which also include two luxury Toronto condominium units, to prevent Mr. Ng from selling them and dissipating the proceeds.

None of the allegations has been proven in court.

Jeffrey Kroeker, a partner at Civis Law LLP and legal counsel to Mr. Ng, his brother Andy Ng as well as the Oogi Family Trust, said Ms. Lee’s allegations contain “numerous inaccuracies” and that his client “will respond without hyperbole and focus on facts to set the record straight.”

Mr. Ng is at the centre of two financial scandals that erupted in the past six months. First, in November, 2020, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada alleged that Mr. Ng doctored account statements and used that phony collateral to borrow more than $170-million, part of which he used to acquire Vancouver-based investment dealer PI Financial Corp.

Those account statements showed that he had tens of millions of dollars in investments, when in reality, IIROC alleges, those accounts belonged to others – or didn’t exist at all. An IIROC hearing into the matter is scheduled to take place this fall in Vancouver.

Mr. Ng is also central to the recent controversy at Bridging Finance Inc., the private debt fund manager that was placed under the control of a receiver in April at the request of the Ontario Securities Commission.

The OSC says one of the reasons it sought a receiver is because Bridging lent Mr. Ng $32-million of investors’ money from two funds it manages, which Mr. Ng then used to acquire a 50-per-cent stake in Bridging – a transaction that benefited Bridging’s owners. (Bridging has said that, after the revelation about Mr. Ng’s alleged forgeries, Bridging’s shareholders repaid the funds the amount Mr. Ng borrowed to purchase his stake, and that he is no longer an owner.)

Since these imbroglios unfurled, Mr. Ng has not addressed any of the allegations publicly. He has not responded to previous requests for comment from The Globe and Mail. When IIROC investigators summoned him to an interview in July, 2020, he didn’t attend. Similarly, when the regulator filed formal allegations against him and held a hearing earlier this year, Mr. Ng was again a no-show.

Ms. Lee’s legal filings are the first glimpse into the moves Mr. Ng made when the regulator began probing him in 2020, and shed light on the business ventures he has pursued since departing the financial-services sector.

Ms. Lee says in an affidavit that, as media scrutiny of Mr. Ng mounted last month, she became concerned about how the trust was being managed, and whether her interests were being properly looked after. When the couple was divorced in February of this year, one of the court-ordered terms was that Ms. Lee was to be the sole beneficiary of the trust.

But when Ms. Lee reached out to Mr. Ng’s brother Andy Ng – who is the sole trustee of the trust – and he supplied her with the trust documents, she says she was “shocked to learn” that another woman, Marisa Bourdeau, was listed as a beneficiary. The documents also state that any children Gary Ng may have in the future will be listed as beneficiaries. Mr. Ng currently has no children, the documents state.

Ms. Lee investigated further, she alleges in the affidavit, and concluded that Gary Ng has been mortgaging the properties, and then using those loans to pay off some of his creditors. She also alleges that, for reasons she does not fully explain, that the Ng brothers have been funneling some of these loans to her bank account, and instructing her to make payments to certain “business partners” that she does not name.

She cites one transaction in October, 2020, when she says she received a wire transfer for $1.3-million. The day before, she alleges, a $1.7-million mortgage from the Bank of Nova Scotia was placed on a King Street penthouse that is the property of the trust.

Similarly, in January, 2021, Gary Ng transferred $1.5-million to her bank account, just five days after he secured a $2-million mortgage on his mansion on Lake Simcoe, she alleges.

Ms. Lee is requesting an immediate preservation order and the removal of Andy Ng as the sole trustee. She argues that “there is a serious risk” that the Lake Simcoe property will be further leveraged or sold, and the resulting proceeds will be spent given Gary Ng’s “questionable financial health.”

The legal application also details how Mr. Ng has pivoted to an entirely new business since being ousted from PI – which is now owned by the two lenders, Miami-based H.I.G. Capital and Vancouver-based RCM Capital Management, that financed Mr. Ng’s 2018 acquisition.

Ms. Lee alleges that Mr. Ng has launched a business, Moan Amie Ltd., which manufactures and distributes sex lubricants.

As evidence of this, she has filed in court an undated text exchange between the two of them, in which he complains about having to sell many of his possessions when his alleged fraud came to light.

In the text exchange, he sent her a picture of a Lamborghini Huracan EVO Spyder, writing, “once I get this sex lube thing on the market ima gonna buy my car back.”

He explained that he is fuelled by the “anger” of being forced to sell his vehicles, and said, “I just want my stuff back.”

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