Rookie Tory MLA hit with lawsuit Khan accused of failing to repay more than $560,000 to city business

Rookie Tory MLA and entrepreneur Obby Khan is facing a lawsuit alleging he has failed to repay more than $560,000 in support provided to his eight-year-old juice company.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/09/2022 (185 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Rookie Tory MLA and entrepreneur Obby Khan is facing a lawsuit alleging he has failed to repay more than $560,000 in support provided to his eight-year-old juice company.

In a statement of claim filed in Manitoba Court of King’s Bench last week, Jones and Company Wine Merchants Inc. alleges Khan, main shareholder of Green Carrot Juice Company Inc., a co-defendant in the lawsuit, “orally committed” to repaying the money in a series of emails to Jones and Company principal Tina Jones, but has yet to do so.

“These allegations are without merit and will be disproven in court,” Khan, the MLA for Fort Whyte, said in a brief email to the Free Press.

A 2014 Free Press business profile described Jones as one of three partners in the fledgling cold-pressed juice company, along with Khan and restaurateur Johnny Kien. The company now has four Winnipeg locations.

Jones is also featured prominently on Green Carrot’s website.

“Obby Khan told Tina Jones how fresh juicing had changed his life” after the former Blue Bomber developed colitis and thought his football career was over, says the website, under the heading, “It all started with a conversation between friends. ”Jones “was captivated by his life-altering story… Before long, Green Carrot was born.”

The statement of claim alleges Khan approached Jones “at the onset” of Green Carrot’s inception “for assistance in the running of… Green Carrot and for injections of capital.”

Tina Jones “supplied likely hundreds of hours in the investment of time as well as funds, assisting the defendants,” alleges the statement of claim.

Jones and Company alleges Khan and Green Carrot owe it $562,000 as of April 30, 2019, the most recent date for which Jones and Company has been provided a Green Carrot financial statement.

Jones and Company “frequently asked the defendants for financial statements and tax returns which were rarely provided,” alleges the statement of claim.

“The amount of funds referred to in the statement of claim may well be increased by later financial statement to be provided by the defendants in the course of examinations for discovery in this matter and claims for whatever amount is then current.”

Jones and Company alleges it prepared personal guarantee documents that Khan agreed to sign “but never did.”

Khan, alleges the statement of claim, does not dispute the amount owed, but argues he is not personally responsible for the debt.

“However, Khan has virtually abandoned the corporate defendant in favour of his position as a member of the Manitoba legislature… believing that if the corporate defendant goes into bankruptcy, his loss will be much smaller than that of the plaintiff,” the statement of claim alleges.

A spokesperson for Jones and Company did not reply to a request for comment by deadline Monday.

The allegations have not been proven in court.

Khan, whose business interests also include three Shawarma Khan restaurants, was elected MLA for Fort Whyte in a byelection last March. The riding was previously held by former premier Brian Pallister.

Dean Pritchard

Dean Pritchard
Courts reporter

Someone once said a journalist is just a reporter in a good suit. Dean Pritchard doesn’t own a good suit. But he knows a good lawsuit.

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