Canadian businessman creates rift within Ice Hockey Australia

A disgraced businessman who rose to the top of ice hockey’s national governing body has sensationally quit just days before A topical matter and age had to expose his slippery financial past.

Grove Bennett, who left behind millions of dollars in debt when he fled Canada for Melbourne in 2017, has been skating on thin ice for months.

Cracks have widened within local winter sports regulator Ice Hockey Australia over its new CEO and access to the more than $2million in its bank account.

Former Ice Hockey Australia chief executive Grove Bennett Junior is approached with questions. (Nine)

Steven Barclay, the self-proclaimed high-performance coach’s former Canadian business partner, said he lost almost everything after being caught in Bennett’s slipstream.

In 2014, Bennett and Barclay bought a Canadian disability services company, Aroga Technologies.

In a spinoff, Bennett peddled “quantum infused” holographic patches, which claimed to help with a range of issues, from weight loss to sleep.

As bills mounted and Aroga Technologies failed to repay its loan, the Toronto-Dominion Bank filed a lawsuit against Bennett, accusing him of siphoning disability society money from his business. of holograms.

The bank also accused Bennett of providing “false” and “misleading” information about his company’s financial affairs and of using the loan to fund his and his wife’s lifestyle.

Grove Bennett Jr. (Nine)

“He started treating his business like his personal piggy bank,” Barclay said. A topical matter and age from his home in Vancouver.

“I started to realize that something was wrong when I couldn’t even get simple answers to accounting questions.”

With the bank on his heels, Bennett and his family packed their bags, wiped their social media accounts and bought a one-way ticket to Melbourne.

“He just disappeared one day,” Barclay said.

“Nobody knew where he had gone, nobody could contact him.”

According to Canadian bankruptcy records, Bennett owed 62 creditors approximately $3.2 million, which he attributed to “business failure” and “financial mismanagement.”

Bennett ran up a $100,000 credit card bill and the tax office was after him for over a million dollars.

This does not include debts owed by his business.

(Nine)

After setting up a new life at Patterson Lakes, Bennett – the son of a 1970s ice hockey star of the same name – settled into Ice Hockey Australia and within two weeks, in September last year, he was appointed as a director of the board of directors. then president.

In March, Bennett created a new position for himself that hadn’t existed before: CEO.

Former treasurer Adrian Miller, who voted for Bennett’s original appointment to the board, resigned in protest.

“He phoned me individually and other directors to push the idea,” Miller said.

“It was not raised by anyone else on the board.”

Miller’s concerns over the appointment of a paid CEO without a recruitment process fell on deaf ears, in a scandal he called “damaging” for the small winter sport.

“If he had revealed [his past]absolutely, I wouldn’t have endorsed it, or voted for it at all,” Miller said.

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Sandi Logan, an ice hockey player of six decades, lobbied the board to fire him.

“I have serious reservations as a member, as do the other 5,000 members of Ice Hockey Australia, about the few hundred dollars I pay the organization every year,” Logan said.

” Where is he going ? Who is using it ? Who has access? »

Although several sources familiar with the board discussions have said A topical matter a salary for Bennett’s position as CEO was discussed, in an online post Ice Hockey Australia denied any money was ever paid.

Bennett and Ice Hockey Australia ignored repeated requests for comment.

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