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John Simmonds, faces fraud charges 2016


John Simmonds Former Wasaga Beach golf course owner faces fraud charges in Bracebridge

 

Jul 12, 2016 by Ian Adams  Wasaga Sun 

John Simmonds - Metroland file photo

John Simmonds, Former Wasaga Beach golf course owner faces fraud charges in Bracebridge Jul 2016

A businessman who had visions of bringing a casino to the area and a plan to introduce 12-hole golf to Wasaga Beach now faces fraud charges related to business dealings in the Bracebridge area.

John Simmonds, 65, of Uxbridge, was charged by the OPP’s anti-rackets branch on Tuesday with two counts each of fraud over $5,000, theft over $5,000, money laundering, and possession of the proceeds of crime.

The charges are related to Simmonds’ involvement in Fanotech, a Bracebridge company that manufactures waste management vehicles. Simmonds attempted to purchase the business in 2010, but the deal soon fell apart with allegations by Fanotech owner Gabe Tomassoni that Simmonds was attempting to raid his company.

In an interview request in 2015 on a related story, Tomassoni declined to comment, citing ongoing legal issues with Simmonds.

The OPP confirmed they’re still investigating what happened to membership money Simmonds’ Kwiklinks company collected from golfers in Wasaga Beach, after they were offered a chance to buy 2015 memberships to the three courses in town, as well as two in the Bancroft area, at discounted rates in 2014.

Simmonds arrived in the south Georgian Bay area in late 2012 with a plan to convert Collingwood’s Georgian Manor Resort into a resort casino, complete with an entertainment venue that could be used by community theatre groups.

Three months after a presentation to Collingwood Town Council on his concept, Simmonds was no longer with the resort.

He returned to the area in mid-2014, this time as a partner in Wasaga Sands Golf & Country Club, and with a vision to merge Wasaga’s three courses – including Marlwood and Links at New England – under one company with a resort casino on the east side of town.

Under Simmonds’ concept, Wasaga Sands and Links would be converted to 12-hole courses, while Marlwood would stay at 18.

Six months later, that plan, too, was aborted, though not before memberships to his KwikLinks company were sold to former Marlwood Golf & Country Club members under a proposal they’d have access to five courses in 2015: Wasaga Sands, Marlwood, and Links at New England, along with two other courses in the Bancroft area – River’s Edge and South Algonquin.

Wasaga Sands has since been purchased by another company, which has rebranded the course as Twin Creeks, while the Smardenka family were the successful bidders for Marlwood after that course went into receivership.

Around the same time as his involvement with the area golf courses, Simmonds was also involved in a Toronto-area specialty food business, Goudas Food Products and Investments Limited , a company he bought in early 2014 from founder Peter Spyros Goudas.

Six months later, that company was pushed into bankruptcy with accusations Simmonds-related companies obtained millions from the Royal Bank of Canada against artificial invoices issued by Goudas Food Products and Investments Limited. 

That is now the subject of a statement of claim filed by the receiver of Goudas Food Products and Investments Limited in late 2014.

The allegations have not been proven in court, and Simmonds filed a statement of defence denying the claims.

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POLICE LAY CHARGES IN $30 MILLION FRAUD INVESTIGATION Dec 20 2016


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