Officials have finally caught up with former Belleville businessman Jim Sinclair, wanted in connection with thousands of dollars he owes Hastings County.
Sinclair owes nearly $1 million in environmental provincial offences fines to Belleville, Quinte West and Hastings County, but has been living in Michigan state, making the collection issue difficult.
For years the county has been trying to serve him papers to appear in court.
Recently Hastings county hired lawyers in the United States, had the fines issue “domesticated” or legalized in the U.S., and CAO Jim Pine says that service of documents to Sinclair has just happened in the Detroit area.
Pine says this is a big step in being able to seize any assets Sinclair may have in Canada and the United States, either personal or company assets. Sinclair had owned companies both in Belleville and the Toronto area, but the county has not been able to find any companies or other assets worth any money in Ontario.
#2 PINE SINCLAIR
Pine says it’s important to send a strong message that “you can’t run away and the $750,000 dollars in fines that Sinclair owes could provide services for people in Hastings-Quinte.”
The examination of Sinclair’s holdings is scheduled to take place in Detroit on March 28.
In 2008, Sinclair, the owner of the Bakelite property in Belleville’s east end at the time, was sentenced to 10 months in jail on 15 environmental charges related to excavations on the contaminated site and hit with environmental fines.
The county has tried over the years to recover fines levied against Sinclair and his companies, Demolition and Recycling Inc. and Thermosets Ltd.
Sinclair has been living in the Detroit area and the county has had no luck in collecting any money.
Sinclair had been charged with running a “chop shop” in Detroit involving stolen cars, and pleaded “no contest” to 10 counts of receiving and concealing stolen property. He paid $20,000 in restitution.