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Media push for access to details on Thow's life

Andrew A. Duffy

Friday, November 02, 2007

What Ian Thow has been living on, where he's working and who is fuelling his lifestyle in Seattle could be public information as early as Nov. 9 if a petition from media organizations led by the Times Colonist and CHEK News is successful.

Victoria-based media organizations have hired Seattle-based legal representation to apply for access to a transcript of an examination conducted by the Canadian trustee overseeing Thow's bankruptcy.

The examination of the former Berkshire investment adviser, which started Oct. 29 in Seattle, has been adjourned for now, but Judge Philip Brandt has ruled the media is not allowed to attend the examination.

oth legal counsel for trustee Michael Cheevers and Thow have argued to have the proceedings closed in order to maintain the integrity of the examination, ensure the process is efficient and to protect Thow's personal banking information.

A hearing will now be held next week -- a date has been set for Monday but that is likely to be pushed back to Thursday, Nov. 8 -- to review the motion to make the transcript available.

According to lawyer Sarah Duran, who is representing the media, if the judge rules in favour of releasing a transcript she will push to have it available the next day.

However, it's possible it will take some time to prepare as Thow's lawyer Larry Feinstein has made it known he will ask to have certain information, like account numbers and credit card information, blacked out from the document.

Thow fled Canada for Seattle in the summer of 2005 amid allegations he defrauded investors of $32 million and used the funds to fuel his lavish lifestyle.


Ian Thow takes flight