At one time the two families were the best of friends, spending Christmas and vacations together, but that relationship soured and has now turned into a nasty multi-million dollar cross-border court battle.
A Texas judge has granted a temporary restraining order against an award-winning Richmond company, Blanchette Press, and the family that runs it. A prominent Houston couple, Heidi Hanna and Charles Hill, claim in their court filing that Kim and Mary Elle Blanchette and their five sons scammed them out of eight-and-a-half million dollars.
This is what Heidi Hanna claims in her court affidavit:
“It was a gradual process, built on trust,” says Heidi Hanna. “Being asked, incrementally, to add funds, add funds, add funds, over a period of time, from April to September. And because of the trust level, because of the person, with that trust, Joel Blanchette, it was treading on that trust.”
Today the Blanchette family filed a counter-suit in B.C. Supreme court, alleging that Heidi Hanna and Chris Hill maliciously and wrongly allege they engaged in a conspiracy with Joel Blanchette to defraud them of more than 8.5 million dollars. The counter-suit also seeks an injunction restraining the Texas couple from further publishing the petition’s allegedly false allegations.
Both lawsuits are pending.
A follow-up to the story aired on November 7, 2013. Watch it here: