Pivot Legal Society started making their case today in court against a notorious Downtown Eastside slumlord, who they say is lying about not having any money to pay back to his tenants.
George Wolsey was ordered to compensate former tenants in two single room occupancy hotels due to terrible living conditions, which included lack of plumbing for months at a time, bedbugs and cockroaches. Arrest warrants were issued after he failed to comply with the court order to compensate them.
Wolsey claimed he had no way to pay the more than $18,000 owed, despite selling the two buildings involved for millions.
Kevin Weinmeister, who was testifying against Wolsey, said in court he used to work for the slumlord and claims Wolsey has the assets and income to pay back the money he owes to the tenants.
Weinmeister claims Wolsey has a $2 million home in Langley, several vehicles along with a sport fishing boat he bought last year. He told the court room that Wolsey owns the IHS pharmacy in Surrey, which has made him millions.
A falling out with his former employer is what spurred Weinmeister to come forward with the information.
“I’ve been threatened by Wolsey to keep my mouth shut,” he told the judge.
During cross examination, Wolsey’s lawyer accused Weinmeister of “making this up as you go.”
Wolsey was scheduled to be in court this morning at 9:30, but didn’t show up. He is reportedly in the emergency room at Royal Columbian Hospital awaiting an MRI after a bad fall. Wolsey’s lawyer also missed his flight from Penticton and was late for this morning’s court appearance. He finally showed up just before noon.
Despite the delay, the judge decided not to adjourn the case. Wolsey’s lawyers’ attempted to have the proceedings adjourned due to his hospital stay but failed.
The trial proceedings will continue tomorrow.
– with files from Rumina Daya
© Shaw Media, 2014