Black seeks emergency hearing into tax matter holding up the sale of his home

TORONTO – Conrad Black is seeking an emergency hearing next week into tax-related matters holding up the sale of his Toronto mansion, arguing that servicing the three mortgages on the property is hurting his personal financial position.

In documents filed with the Federal Court, Black says he’s paying more than $1 million a year towards three mortgages on the home, which come to more than $13.5 million in total, and that it’s eating away at the amount of equity he has in the property.

The court documents say Black had agreed to sell the home for $14 million to an unnamed buyer who was willing to allow the former media mogul and his wife, Barbara Amiel-Black, to continue living in the home.

But the sale of 26 Park Lane Circle was delayed after Canada Revenue Agency placed two liens against the property last month over allegations that Black owes taxes from 2002, 2003 and 2008.

The CRA claims Black is in arrears in the amounts of $12,307,717 and $3,513,877.

The prospective buyer of the nine-bedroom, 11-bathroom home says he is willing to extend the closing date until June 30, but not any later, according to the court files.

In a motion filed in court, Black says he is seeking an urgent hearing so that the sale can close before the potential buyer’s ultimate deadline.

He says he is prepared to “put the sale proceeds into trust for the benefit” of the national minister of revenue.

One of the mortgage holders, Hudson Bay Fund LP, has launched a case in the Superior Court of Justice in an attempt to force a judicial sale of the Bridle Path home so that the lender can recover the outstanding mortgage loan amount.

Black is seeking to have a jeopardy order, obtained by the national minister of revenue and dated May 5, set aside.

The jeopardy order allowed the minister to place the liens against the property.

The motion is set to be heard in Federal Court on June 28.

Some of the figures in the documents filed with Federal Court differ from previously cited figures in regards to the home. The Multiple Listings Service had the sale price listed as $16.5 million and land registry documents listed outstanding mortgage loans totalling $15.5 million on the 23,000-square foot property.

—With files from Jim Bronskill.

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