Court orders PWC to take over Bridging Finance after scandal
PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. has terminated the employment of Bridging Finance Inc. Chief Executive Officer David Sharpe, one week after the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) requested a provincial judge that the auditor be appointed to control the private lender.
In a filing late Friday, the OSC said it had been informed by PwC counsel that it had terminated Sharpe’s employment with Bridging Finance. The filing also stated PwC would file the appropriate paperwork to remove his title as Ultimate Designated Person at the firm. The OSC already issued a temporary trading halt on the firm’s funds and suspended Sharpe’s registration as UDP of the company.
Sharpe's termination comes amid serious allegations of misconduct and failures of disclosure at the firm. OSC staff allege Bridging Finance misappropriated about $35 million to complete an acquisition for its own benefit, that Sharpe received $19.5 million in undisclosed payments to a personal chequing account and that the firm lent $32 million to a borrower shortly before the party bought a stake in the private lender.
None of the allegations have been tested or proven in a court or before the Ontario Securities Commission.