A former Sooke hotel owner, wrapped up in several legal actions surrounding ownership of the Sooke Harbour House, is suing Facebook for $50 million for an “imposter” account that appears to be trolling him.
Timothy Durkin claims he’s been trying to get the Facebook profile off the social media website since he first discovered it in March, according to a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court.
The account features a photo of Durkin’s face and a background of a person in handcuffs and an orange prison jumpsuit.
Several posts on the page refer to Durkin’s alleged involvement in a U.S. Ponzi scheme, with an expected hearing in November, and the fight for ownership of the Sooke Harbour House.
Durkin claims in the civil suit that when he and his friends reported the “imposter” page in March, a pop-up window stated that the request couldn’t be processed, and they were “working on getting it fixed as soon as we can.”
Between April and July, Durkin continued his attempts to report the profile, but the Sooke man claims he kept receiving the same pop-up window.
Near the end of July, Durkin said he couriered a letter directly to the managing director of Facebook Canada Ltd. but hasn’t yet heard a response demanding that Facebook and Facebook Canada act.
The Sooke man is not only seeking $50 million for aggravated and punitive damages but also that the page is removed and that the identity of the person responsible is revealed.
Durkin once operated the Sooke Harbour Hotel, which was known around the country as a renowned boutique hotel.
Frederique and Sinclair Philip, the Sooke couple who bought the hotel in 1979, brought the destination to prominence with their world-class dining experiences.
Back in 2010, the hotel was valued at $8.75 million but has since sold for $5.6 million in July to IAG Enterprises, a North Vancouver-based real estate company, after the Philips left a share purchase agreement with two companies that Durkin led.
IAG Enterprises Ltd. bought the property in a court-ordered sale and is not involved with the debts from past management.
Black Press Media has reached out to Durkin for comment.
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