The firearm industry has had a brutal 2020. The Remington bankruptcy finally got sorted out with it being sold piecemeal to a handful of different companies, and now our neighbor to the north, Canada has one of their largest firearms distributor, Trigger Wholesale accused of massive fraud.
According to court documents, Trigger Wholesale has been accused of fraudulently obtaining $48 million in business loans from business lender ClearFlow Commercial Finance. They did this by allegedly pretending to be doing more business than they actually were.
Court documents claim that Trigger forged invoices, letters, emails from executives, created fake companies, and lied about real-estate holdings to appear more solvent than they actually were. They used these fake documents to convince Clearflow to lend them more money.
Right now courts have put Trigger Wholesale into temporary receivership so it can be figured out where all the money went and how deep the corruption, if any flows.
You can find all of the court documents and information on the case at Grant Thorton’s website. It is a lot to go through but here is an excerpt from one of the documents that give a basic rundown of the case.
“The fraud perpetrated on Clearflow as outlined in the affidavits in support of this Application is significant and includes allegations of hundreds of falsified invoices as evidence of accounts receivable that did not exist, falsified purchase orders, a forged transfer of real property owned by Mark Gdak on behalf of En Cadre, fake email addresses of executives at Canadian and Home Hardware, verbal and email impersonations of executives employed by Canadian Tire and Home Hardware, and forged cheques made to look like payments by Canadian Tire and Home Hardware to Trigger for the alleged purchase of firearms.“
Clearflow is necessarily concerned that it has advanced tens of millions of dollars to Trigger based on misrepresentations and falsified documentation. It is also concerned with a massive increase in 90-day accounts receivable and Trigger’s resistance to providing agreed-upon financial information upon request.
….There is substantial evidence of a significant fraud in this case that goes beyond simple manipulation but includes fake emails, documents, and pre-meditated actions on the part of the Respondents to induce further advances from the Applicant. In terms of irreparable harm, I find that there is an extreme risk of the destruction of documents if the Respondents are given notice of this proceeding which may impede their ability to collect on real invoices.
You can also check out a breakdown of the case by a Canadian Lawyer. Runkle of the Bailly posted his take on the case to his YouTube channel. The video is almost an hour but contains a lot of good information.
According to the company’s website Trigger serves “Federally Licensed Dealers, Retailers, Law Enforcement & Military,” with no direct consumer sales. Because of this, Caliber Magazine believes that this case will have little effect on the everyday shooter, except for maybe warranty work on firearms purchased through Trigger.
This case will take a while to sort out and as of right now these are merely allegations. We will keep you posted as this story progresses.