The B.C. Securities Commission (BCSC) claims a Sooke man defrauded an investor of $1 million through the sale of a fake ownership interest in the world-renowned Sooke Harbour House hotel.
The BCSC states in a press release Durkin raised a million dollars from an investor between December 2015 and March 2016 by promising a 40 per cent share in the hotel through the purchase of shares of a company named SHH Holdings Inc.
“In reality, SHH did not have any ownership interest in the corporation that owned the hotel. The investor did not recover any of the $1 million paid for the shares,” the BCSC said.
The BCSC alleges that by deceiving the investor, Durkin and SHH committed fraud under the Securities Act. The allegations – which have not been proven – will be the subject of a hearing in November.
The BCSC’s allegation is the latest twist in a years-long saga over control of the Sooke Harbour House.
A year ago, Frederique and Sinclair Philip, who previously owned the Sooke Harbour House, were awarded more than $4 million for what B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bill Basran called a “six-year odyssey of lies, excuses, threats, intimidation and bullying” by Durkin and his partner Rodger Gregory.
For more than 35 years, the Philips owned, operated, and built the hotel into a world-class destination.
In 2012, the Sooke couple chose to sell the hotel to begin their retirement. But after three failed deals, they decided to go with Durkin and Gregory in March 2014.
The Philips were led to believe that they would get $2 million, as Durkin claimed his company, SHH Holdings, had the funds to cover the mortgage and interest owed on the property. SHH Holdings never raised more than $54,000 from investors.
This isn’t the only case Durkin has dealt with in court.
The Sooke man is suing Facebook for $50 million for an “imposter account” that appears to be trolling him. The account features a photo of Durkin’s face and the background of a person in handcuffs, and an orange prison jumpsuit.
Durkin is also fighting a 2017 deportation order from Canada after his alleged involvement in a U.S. Ponzi scheme.
IAG Enterprises Ltd., a North Vancouver real estate company, bought the Sooke Harbour House property in a court-ordered sale for $5.6 million in 2020. The 28-room hotel is expected to re-open this spring after renovations are completed.