Bitter sale of trucking providers pits brother towards brother

A struggle involving two brothers around their jointly owned trucking enterprise is nearing a bitter…

A struggle involving two brothers around their jointly owned trucking enterprise is nearing a bitter finish after three many years of litigation and arbitration. So bitter that a person brother is funding an investigation.

Paul and Rana Randhawa have been embroiled in a lawful dispute since 2018 above the Ontario, Canada-primarily based Randhawa Team of Providers. The crown jewel of the 12-business operation appears to be a cross-border trucking enterprise, ASR Transportation, primarily based in the Toronto suburb of Oakville with a fleet of more than 60 vans registered to work in the U.S.

Ontario Superior Court docket Justice Markus Koehnen in May well put the Randhawa Group trucking organizations into receivership under the authority of a trustee to pursue a sale. At the time, Koehnen noted, “They have been included in a long, acrimonious dispute about the separation of their passions in many organizations that they the moment ran collectively.”

The precise mother nature of the dispute isn’t obvious from the documents produced community by the trustee, KSV. But they paint a picture of distrust and suspicion, with Paul Randhawa elevating considerations about his means to recuperate 50 % of the proceeds of a sale and his visibility into the companies’ functions. 

So significantly so that Paul Randhawa’s lawyers persuaded the judge to give the trustee the electricity to investigate the business to make sure the sale maximizes the benefit. Rana Randhawa resisted the investigation, arguing that it would unnecessarily delay the sale, according to court docket documents.

But there is a capture: Paul is putting up C$100,000 ($87,000) to fund the investigation originally. But in accordance to the decide, Rana will be on the hook for the charges dependent on the end result of the investigation. 

One particular brother ‘strongly denies any suggestion of wrongdoing’

Each adult men have retained attorneys from prominent Canadian corporations: Lenczner Slaght and Stikeman Elliott. By means of their lawyers, both equally brothers declined to focus on the situation. 

“Rana Randhawa strongly denies any recommendation of wrongdoing,” attorney Brian Kolenda, a lover with Lenczner Slaght in Toronto, said in an e mail to FreightWaves. “As the issue is ahead of the court docket it would not be appropriate to remark further.”

Law firm Aaron Kreaden, a partner with Stikeman Elliott in Toronto, symbolizing Paul Randhawa declined to remark on the he case, citing the pending authorized proceedings.

It is unclear, just, how considerably cash is at stake. But a organization the dimensions of ASR Transportation could quickly make deliver hundreds of thousands of pounds in earnings every year. 

The one issue that the brothers seem to concur on is the have to have to provide their firms and divide the proceeds, and that it ought to be carried out by a court docket-appointed trustee. But they even disagreed on which trustee really should be appointed. (The judge went with Paul’s proposal.)

The issue had been settled by an arbiter, who issued 12 conclusions on the dispute, in accordance to court docket paperwork.

Arbiter located ‘red flags for probable fraud’

The basis for the investigation seems to be problems raised by the arbitrator. Amid them, the transfer of at least 12 trucks to one more trucking firm, unspecified “red flags for potential fraud” and a lack of transparency into the functions and finances, in accordance to court docket documents.

“The require for an investigation is well-established,” Koehnen wrote in a May well ruling. 

Rana seems to have disputed at minimum some of the results from the arbiter. Although Koehnen agreed the allegations elevated by the arbiter hadn’t been proved, they merited investigation since of the prospective implications for Paul’s share of the business enterprise.

“Paul is entitled to 50% of the proceeds of sale,” Koehnen wrote. “Rana is not entitled to any unequal advantage. There are a sequence of suspicious situations the arbitrator recognized that would, if substantiated, guide to an unequal gain to Rana.”

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