A Kelowna, B.C., man known best for his winning tech enterprises has just had a smaller, more personal victory spelled out in a court decision published online this week.
Club Penguin and Hyper Hippo founder Lancelot (Lance) Darren Priebe went to B.C. Supreme Court to get his ex-spouse, Alicia Ann Baker, out of his basement more than a year after they broke up, and was successful in doing so.
According to a decision by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Leslie Muir, Priebe and Baker started dating sometime between 2014 and 2015, depending on which one you ask. Again, depending on which one you asked, they separated four to five years later.
While the court decision outlines an abundance of ways they fell apart and saw situations differently, Muir wrote that they agree that at the time they got together Priebe was worth $50 million and Baker had less than $62,000 in assets.
That’s when they hammered out an agreement that kept their property separate and saw that Baker would get $250,000 plus $500,000 for each year of cohabitation if they were to break up. Spousal support was waived.
Within a matter of years, the relationship started to sour, according to Priebe, who alleged that the turning point came in June 2018, when he overheard Baker tell his 13-year-old son that she hoped that he, his siblings, and his mother would die in a helicopter crash during a trip they were taking that day.
The court decision indicated the comment was also allegedly heard by the claimant’s daughter.
A couple of years later, with more issues accumulating, they decided to break up, a fact supported by one party’s lawyer contacting the other’s to get it sorted out.
As they started to separate, Baker started to contest the aforementioned agreement and with assistance from a mediator, arranged to stay in the basement of the property until their separation was sorted out.
Since then, however, conditions have deteriorated further, and more issues ensued with both parties having a list of accusations to hurl against one another.
Some involve allegations of property damage, theft, breaching privacy, putting up and taking down cameras despite the other’s wishes and even some domestic violence.
All claims, particularly an alleged escalation of family violence, have put stress on the entire family, especially Priebe’s children according to the court decision, making it clear that ”the continued sharing of the residence is a practical impossibility,” Muir said.
Given that Priebe built the residence for his children in close proximity to his extended family before they became a couple, Muir said the home was clearly his. Plus, Baker now has assets valued at more than $2 million, meaning she could afford another lodging without hardship, as she’d argued would be the issue.
“There was no scenario presented to me that would ever result in the respondent being given title to the residence,” Muir wrote.
“Even if the agreement is set aside, the most she will be entitled to is some payment for her interest in the residence.”
“There is no rational reason why the respondent should continue to live in the residence. Given she has been paid $1.9 million towards her interest in the family assets, she can clearly afford to live elsewhere and her concerns about having no references and lacking a credit rating can surely be resolved, as they inevitably will have to be.”
So Priebe will have to pay $60,000 to Baker on or before March 15 and she will have to leave before March 31.