After Groupe Sélection’s Réal Bouclin, another major Montreal real estate developer is on the brink of the abyss due to huge debts of hundreds of millions of dollars accumulated by his companies.
Entrepreneur Ronen Basel, unknown to the general public, is behind a dozen large-scale rental apartment building projects in Greater Montreal.
The 127-unit building on the original site of Tour Diesel was built in Brossard by developer Tyronne Candappa.
“We wanted to grow very fast. […] We had 350 employees,” he lamented, explaining his difficulties in December at a restaurant on the edge of Decari Boulevard in Montreal.
He’s not hiding it: He’s now considering personal bankruptcy.
His companies owe more than $30 million to Revenue Quebec and are the subject of a tax investigation that suspects a scheme.
$276 million in loans
Recently, one of his companies filed for court protection. It has indicated its willingness to make a plan for its creditors totaling $276 million in this case alone.
Since 2018, six of his other companies have gone bankrupt.
He says even a $1.6 million apartment Basal owns in Saint-Donat in Lanaudiere is about to be taken over by a bank.
Several lenders and individuals, including a private lender, are suing him in parallel.
Both of his parents, Baruch and Judith Basel, who hold positions in companies, announced their intention to offer a plan to their creditors in August. Their combined debts are $23 million.
“They Killed My Family”
Sitting in a restaurant, Ronen criticized Basel Revenu Quebec’s work, saying it would have worsened its financial problems by withholding expected amounts (GST and QST refunds) and made creditors nervous.
“They killed a family. […] They washed me away with fines and interest,” he said.
“The objective is to sell assets to secure money for secured creditors and release a sum for ordinary creditors,” explained Gaetano de Guglielmo, MNP’s senior vice president. Companies.
“Among other things, he owes Romspun, a secured creditor, I think $230 million,” he explained.
Buildings constructed by companies under investigation
1. 7070 Cote-Saint-Luc Road
2. 6700, The Avenue, Cote-Saint-Luc
3. 6710 Cote-Saint-Luc Road
4. 6250 Lennox Avenue, Montreal
5. 10 150 Saint-Laurent Boulevard, Montreal
- 126-unit building
6. 5792 Parkhaven Avenue, Cote-Saint-Luc
- 112-unit building
7. 8115, Paul. du Saint-Laurent, Brossard
- 127-unit building
Revenu Québec suspects a plan
Several bankruptcies of his companies are now attracting the attention of the tax authorities, who consider it a “trick” (project in English) is ongoing.
According to the scheme described by Revenu Québec, several underlying companies went bankrupt and received substantial GST and QST refunds from the tax authorities before transferring their real estate assets to other companies.
Therefore, the tax officials allege that they have not paid the tax due when the real estate works have been completed.
Revenu Québec raided trustee Litvin Boyadjian’s city offices in May and seized Basel’s private residence in Côte-st-Luc, court documents reveal.
“Institutions [de Basal] “Revenue owes Quebec more than $30 million in GST and QST, Quebec business taxes and employer withholding,” tax officials argue in a document filed with the Tax Court of Canada.
In an interview, Ronen denied that Basel had done anything illegal and claimed that his main creditor, Romspen, had for all intents and purposes taken control of his companies after his problems began.
A Revenue Quebec investigator says he saw Romspen’s 2020 annual report, which indicated the lender would have received a 5.6% return on lending to the bankrupt Basel company.
Romspen did not respond to an email.
“As a case is currently under investigation, we do not have any information of a public nature to communicate with you,” a spokesperson for Revenu Quebec said in an email.
- Ronen Basel was active in the diamond industry before moving into real estate. Revenu Quebec alleges in a lawsuit that companies in the Basel family were forced into bankruptcy after millions of dollars in diamonds went missing in 2013. However, in an interview, Mr. Basel vehemently opposed this version of the facts.
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