Brittany Beaver currently receives child support of $33,000 a month. Ken Hill is her ex and the father of their son. Ken Hill may well be the wealthiest Indigenous businessman in Canada. The 59-year-old lives in a world of luxury and comfort, often escaping his home on a reserve in Brantford, Ont., by hopping on a private jet to Las Vegas, where he reportedly stays in suites that cost between $4,000 and $25,000 a night. He has even partied with Rod Stewart, Mike Tyson, the Trailer Park Boys and Snoop Dogg.
In 1992, he co-founded the world’s largest Indigenous-owned corporation, Grand River Enterprises Ltd., which sells enormous volumes of cigarettes around the world. The company has recorded annual sales of more than $300 million, and, as a partner, he takes home at least $5 million a year.
Now, the wealthy Six Nations resident is fighting to hold on to more of his hard-earned cash. He’s taking a family law dispute with the mother of his nine-year-old son to Ontario’s highest court to fight to have his child support payments determined by Indigenous laws.
Hill’s lawyers argue Haudenosaunee laws should trump Ontario family law when it comes to Indigenous families. The repercussions of this case, to be heard by the Ontario Court of Appeal on Sept. 11, could reverberate across the province, and perhaps more broadly, by diverting Indigenous women from the family court system into a system based on Indigenous traditions.
“This is a novel case with a firm foundation,” says Andrew Lokan, Hill’s lawyer. “American Indian tribes have been administering family law for decades. We are confident that, if permitted, Haudenosaunee results would be recognized and followed by Mr. Hill. The community has traditional dispute mechanisms that are robust.”
Brittany Beaver — Hill’s ex and the mother of their son — currently receives child support of $33,000 a month, but she has been fighting to determine Hill’s true income and wealth, according to court documents. The stay-at-home mom and student says she earns less than $10,000 a year and her claim for spousal support has not been resolved.
After two years of litigation, Hill provided some financial disclosure according to the filings, revealing a salary of $5.49 million. But his total yearly expenses are $7.4 million and his legal bills alone in 2017 were $1.2 million. According to court documents, Hill doesn’t pay income tax because of Indian Act exemptions.
Beaver says Hill told her he is a billionaire. Hill denies that, saying that no one, including himself, has “seemingly unlimited financial resources.” She alleges Hill “repeatedly threatened her that she will never know his true income or net worth because he doesn’t file income tax returns and has connections that will assist him in hiding his assets from her.” He denies saying this.
In financial disclosure, Hill also listed several Canadian properties, including a $1.135-million home in Kitchener, Ont. (held in trust for their son) where Beaver lives with the boy, her new boyfriend and their child. Hill’s car collection — which Beaver says includes a Lamborghini, three Porsches, at least two Ferraris and four Rolls-Royces — was valued at $5.58 million, his 2010 Lazzara 76-foot yacht is worth $2.76 million and his 2013 Sea Ray Sundancer, $939,000.
Beaver’s affidavit states that Hill also either owns or has an interest in a private 10-seater plane, but Hill denies owning a jet or helicopter, saying his company leased a jet, which Hill used. Beaver also alleges Hill has an 18,000 sq. ft. Bahamas mansion, where her son stayed in December 2014 and December 2015. Hill also possesses “multimillion-dollar mansions” in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Miami, Beaver alleges. […]
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