May 2010, Mike Dufour, local musician and multi talented handyman accepts promise to pay from Gary Santucci for repair and renovations of properties owned and managed by The Pearl Company. Mike's work starts by repairing broken water supply line in 575 King St. East, main floor store front filled with abandoned food and clothing items soaked by weeks of water leakage. Unit is infested with rats and results in 60 plus rodents killed and captured by Abell Pest Control.
Mike spends the next 2 years renovating 571, 573 & 575 King St. E., 6 Steven St. and repairs to 8 Steven St, 17 Steven St. 16 Steven St. 436 King William and 26 Steven St. Mike kept a detailed accounting of all the work he performed and provided them to Gary Santucci and Barbara Milne. After months of begging for partial payment for the cost of the work performed and the escalating unpaid services, Mike insisted on a meeting with Gary & Barbara to address the amount owed and solutions to resolve the debt.
Mike secured the appointment for May 8th, 2012 at 10:00am, invited Sandy Copland to witness the proceedings. The meeting took place on the 3rd floor of The Pearl Company, residence of Gary & Barbara. Mike began the meeting by addressing the amount of work he had done and that he could no longer wait to be paid for the 2 years he sacrificed for them. Gary Santucci agknowledged the work and sacrifice and stated that they could not pay due to on going financial difficulty.
He suggested Mike accept an ownership settlement offer that would assign 25% ownership of 571, 573, 575, 571 1/2, 573 1/2, 575 1/2 King St. East and 6 & 8 Steven St. as payment for out standing invoices totalling in excess of $50,000.00. He added that Mike would receive 25% of rental income proceeds, 25% of proceeds from income realized by The Pearl FoodCo (575 King St. E.) and The Pearl Cafe (573 & 571 King St. E.) scheduled to open by September 2012. Mike added that he would accept their offer if he were guaranteed position of manager of both businesses.
Gary Santucci and Barbara Milne eagerly agreed to the terms of the settlement agreement and assured Mike that they would have their lawyer draw up the agreement immediately. Mike went back to looking after the never ending list of repairs to The Pearl Company properties confident that he would receive just resolve and compensation for 2 years of his sweat equity. June 6, 2012, Mike asks Gary how the settlement agreement is coming.
Gary responds by stating that his lawyer was on holidays until that day and would get right on the agreement. July 3rd, 2012, Mike asks Gary why it's taking so long to get his lawyer to get so much as a draft copy of the agreement to him, Gary states that he just getting started on it that day. It has been 2 months since the settlement offer is made by Gary & Barbara and accepted by Mike and no formal agreement.
Meanwhile, Gary & Barbara have realized in excess of $5000.00 in rental income since the agreement and made no mention of paying Mike the 25% of the income rightly his to expect. Mike suspects some foul play and consults with a property attorney, explains the details of the agreement and settlement. Mike accepts advice and give Gary Santucci & Barbara Milne 2 weeks to produce the ownership settlement agreement as recorded on May 8th of 2012.
Mike then meets with Barbara Milne, at her insistence, to resolve the matter. She assures Mike that Gary is getting the agreement done and would have no problem with the 2 week time limit, July 17, 2012 . Mike removes all his tools from the properties on July 4th as advised by legal counsel. Mike calls on July 17th, no answer, leaves a message and gets no reply. Mike then drops a copy of all unpaid invoices in to the mailbox outside The Pearl Company entrance door and still gets no response.
A few days goes by and Mike receives an email from Gary Santucci stating that they owed Mike $40,000.00 accompanied by a payment schedule to begin on September 15, 2012. September 15th, 2012 comes and no payment made by The Pearl Company and no further contact from Gary Santucci and Barbara Milne. Mike send another copy of invoices totalling more than $51,000.00 by registered mail requiring signature.
Canada Post attempts to deliver package to The Pearl Company, no one would answer the door bell but CP rep leaves a notification card with location for The Pearl Company to pick up the package, 7 days goes by and package still not picked up, perhaps by design. Mike is force to bring law suit against Gary Santucci and Barbara Milne for damages and unpaid services. Mike wishes to caution Hamiltonians in dealing with The Pearl Company. Stay tuned for updates.