Andrew A. Duffy
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Ian Thow has received threats since he filed for bankruptcy and fled
Canada in the summer of 2005, according to court filings obtained
The unsworn declaration was part of a response filed by Seattle
bankruptcy counsel Larry Feinstein on Thow's behalf.
Thow, who fled Victoria under allegations from his former clients that
he owed them more than $32 million, was responding to a Times Colonist
motion to make public his answers to questions about his financial
affairs from the Canadian trustee overseeing the bankruptcy.
Thow, who has a U.S. passport and resides in Seattle, also objects to
the media being allowed to sit in the room during any further
Canadian trustee Michael Cheevers, of Wolridge Mahon in Vancouver, has
also filed an objection to the media's motion, claiming it is a Canadian
bankruptcy proceeding and therefore should be held in private in
accordance with Canadian practices.
The motion and argument will be heard this morning in a Seattle court. A
ruling could come as early as this afternoon if Judge Philip Brandt
rules from the bench, or longer if he takes it under advisement to study
the arguments and evidence.
The 10-page argument Feinstein filed included the statement: "Mr. Thow
received personal threats since this proceeding began" as well as the
suggestion he "was recently fired from his job as a result of the news
media attention to this case."
In an interview, Feinstein said the proceeding is simply not a public
"It's not public. It's not a court hearing. His deposition is just an
inquiry and that information isn't public knowledge," he said. "His bank
accounts, his credit cards, where he lives and where he works is not
When asked who had threatened Thow, Feinstein said he didn't know,
though he suggested it was likely someone Thow knew. "He's had some
threats. I can't imagine it's just someone on the street that just calls
him up. I don't know if he knows who calls him up or not," he said.
Calls to Thow were not returned.
Feinstein said they also object to making the transcript public because
third parties who have been assisting Thow could face repercussions.
"Of specific concern is the collateral consequences to third parties
that may result from having their identity divulged to the press. Having
conducted business with a debtor cannot be the sole basis for allowing
the public to scrutinize the private affairs of third parties,"
In a reply to both Thow's and Cheevers' objections, attorneys acting on
behalf of the Times Colonist and CHEK News maintain the media's right to
intervene in the matter is well established.
It goes on to say the arguments made do not provide a compelling
argument against making the information public and makes the request
that a transcript of the examination be made available within 24 hours
of the court's ruling and the court affirm intervenor news media be
allowed into future examinations.