Millionare father's insanely petty $1.1m act of retribution
A wealthy businessman was so desperate for revenge against his ex-wife he went to extreme lengths to stop her getting her hands on his cash.
Bruce McConville, from the Canadian capital city of Ottawa, has been embroiled in an increasingly bitter divorce and has repeatedly attempted to keep his financial situation under wraps.
He has previously ignored one court order to file an affidavit about his finances, and another order to pay the court $C300,000 ($A334,762) as a security.
As a result, the courts have not been able to uncover what he owes in child and spousal support, meaning he hasn't yet had to pay up.
But last year, the 55-year-old went one step further - by burning piles of cash in two separate bonfires worth a combined total of $C1.039 million ($A1.159 million).
According to an in-depth report on the legal case by the Ottawa Citizen, Mr McConville admitted to burning $C743,000 ($A829,095) on September 23, 2019 and a further $C296,000 ($A330,299) on December 15.
The money came from the sale of properties and companies completed without the knowledge of his ex-wife or the court, which had specifically ordered him not to sell up amid suspicions the failed mayoral candidate was planning to cover up his assets.
Mr McConville, who owns a number of properties as well as successful mechanic firm McConville's Garage Ltd, told stunned Superior Court judge Justice Kevin Phillips he had collected the cash over a series of 25 withdrawals from six of his bank accounts, but that he had then "destroyed it".
When Justice Phillips asked him to explain, Mr McConville admitted to burning the fortune.
"How does destroying over a million dollars advance your child's best interest?" the judge said in response, according to the publication.
Mr McConville said the act was not something he would "ordinarily do".
"I am not a person that is extremely materialistic. A little goes a long way. I have always been frugal. That's why my business lasted for 31 years," he said.
But an unimpressed Justice Phillips said it was obvious Mr McConville "has very clearly and deliberately set out to thwart the court and the proper administration of justice".
"You are making a mockery of this court, and its process, something I will not allow … You are conducting yourself with intent to deliberately and wilfully frustrate the proper administration of justice," he said.
"More particularly, I find what you have done to be morally reprehensible because what you claim to have done wilfully and directly undermines the interests of your children."
Mr McConville was sentenced to 30 days behind bars over his defiance of the court order, and was told he would receive a harsher punishment if he lied to the court again in future.
He was also ordered to pay his unnamed ex-wife $C14,000 ($A15,622) per week and will cop further daily fines if he fails to supply accurate details of his financial position.
Mr McConville previously made several unsuccessful attempts to be elected to council as well as a failed mayoral run.
However, it's not the first time a millionaire has made headlines for an epic act of spite against an ex.
Last year, US billionaire property mogul Harry Macklowe celebrated his new marriage to his long-term mistress with a "big middle finger" to ex-wife Linda Macklowe following their nasty "$2 billion divorce".
Mr Macklowe came up with an unusual way to celebrate the nuptials - and take a swipe at his ex-wife in the process - by plastering a giant 12m by 7m, black and white photo of the happy couple on one of his New York buildings that can be seen far and wide.
In fact, Linda Macklowe lives just a short stroll away from the unmissable poster, meaning the poster would have been all but unavoidable.