Businessman betrayed by Facebook after cheating Ashton Leblond

For more than three years, Ashton Leblond has been trying to recover an investment he made with a Quebec businessman who had settled in Florida.

Ashton Leblond obtained a judgment from the Superior Court of Quebec in September 2019, condemning Christian Gosselin and his company to pay him US$288,000.

As Gosselin was then living in the United States, Ashton Leblond was unable to enforce the judgment.

Ashton Leblond met Christian Gosselin in Florida in the winter of 2017.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Steve Breton

The encounter

It all starts in 2017, when Ashton Leblond stays in Florida during the winter.

There he met Christian Gosselin and his wife, very nice and lovely people insists the founder of the fast food chain that bears his name.

The couple have just moved to Florida after selling their house in Quebec.

Gosselin, a former professional hockey player drafted by the New Jersey Devils, presents himself as an investor.

He asks Ashton Leblond to support him in his project called Home Getaways.

Gosselin, in front of project posters.

Christian Gosselin has solicited investors for the Home Getaways project.

Photo: Facebook Home Getaways

In collaboration with Permastructures, he plans to build modular homes for the American market.

He was always talking about 10-12 houses a year he could do, then that made sense tooexposes Ashton Leblond in an interview with Radio-Canada.

The restaurateur initially invests US$150,000 with the promise that he will receive 10% of sales, as stipulated in a contract between the parties.

To my surprise, it made two houses. Two or three houses. He never wanted to give me my 10%says Mr. Leblond.

The project did not seem to get off the ground and Gosselin again sought Mr. Leblond’s help. Then that’s when I’m mad at melaments the septuagenarian, biting his lips.

The document bears the title BAIL IMMOBILIER COMMERCIAL.

The lease signed between Ashton Leblond and Christian Gosselin for the rental of the land on which a model house was to be built.

Photo: Radio-Canada

He then adds US$80,000 so that Home Getaways can build a model home.

This building is to be constructed on land owned by Ashton Leblond, in a luxury RV park in Margate, northwest of Fort Lauderdale.

The Gosselin company also undertakes by contract to pay Ashton Leblond rent for the rental of the land.

Me, I gave $80,000, of cash, to build the house, to make a start. He never asked for the permits, he never put up a picket to locate the house on the lot. »

A quote from Ashton Leblond

Very active in 2017, the Facebook page of Home Getaways has had no new releases since December of that year.

In a telephone interview, Christian Gosselin defends himself.

Me, I’m a victim in all this, I’m very disappointed how it all turned outhe assures.

He blames it on Permastructures, saying they had to deal with delivery times and difficulties in obtaining municipal permits.

Christian Gosselin.

Christian Gosselin says he has nothing to be ashamed of.

Photo: Christian Gosselin’s Facebook

Compelling evidence

After filing a lawsuit against Christian Gosselin in 2019, the Superior Court ruled in favor of Ashton Leblond the same year. Judge Michèle Lacroix even described the analysis of the evidence as convincing.

With interest, this judgment could allow Ashton Leblond to receive nearly half a million Canadian dollars today.

Whoever sold his fast food chain earlier this year is under no illusions. He harbors little hope of seeing Gosselin reimburse him.

Not the only one

In 2017, another businessman obtained a favorable judgment against Christian Gosselin in similar circumstances.

Simon Beaulieu has invested CA$35,405 in Home Getaways.

In a sworn statement, a real estate broker who knew Gosselin well said that he personally used the sums invested by Simon Beaulieu.

Broker Christian Giroux adds that he realized that several people had invested sums of tens of thousands of dollars in Permastructures, Christian Gosselin’s partner company.

In this statement filed in support of Ashton Leblond’s lawsuit, he gives the example of an American who paid around US$200,000.

According to the court document, Christian Gosselin and his Permastructures partner, Robert Dubois, embezzled the sum for personal purposes.

The broker swears that he knew that Gosselin used the American investor’s money to pay the rent for his family home and furnish it.

Photo of court document.

The affidavit of Christian Giroux, in which he claims that Christian Gosselin used the money of an American investor for personal gain.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Yannick Bergeron

In an interview, Christian Gosselin refutes this assertion, made under oath by the broker.

However, he acknowledges that he owes a significant debt to this American investor, as do various people, including an elderly couple from Quebec.

The couple’s wife, who we spoke to, had to remortgage her home to cover her losses.

The 78-year-old lady, who prefers to remain anonymous, says her husband, an engineer by trade, began investing in Christian Gosselin’s projects several years before he moved to Florida and launched Home Getaways.

She no longer believes in Christian Gosselin’s repeated promises to repay her debts.

Christian Gosselin confirms that the elderly couple has little chance of getting their money back in the short term.

You understand that I had big plans, me there. I had very big plans. Yes, I had refunds to make. Yes, I was going to repay in the next five years, maybe, or whatever, everyone who had agreements with me. But there, these refunds are not possible. I can’t even afford a lawyer. »

A quote from Christian Gosselin

Ashton Leblond was devastated to learn that the older couple were unable to get their money back.

They can’t afford to lose that. They are old people, they are retired, they have just that to live on, then he took the money from them. It’s terrible, it’s terriblelaments Mr. Leblond.

Arms crossed, Ashton Leblond looks at the journalist.

Ashton Leblond has little hope of seeing the US$230,000 he invested in the Home Getaways project again.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Steve Breton

Betrayed by Facebook

Even with a judgment in hand since 2019, Ashton Leblond has never been able to get his money back. Ashton Leblond’s lawyers finally found Christian Gosselin in Quebec, while he was visiting in July.

He was betrayed by a message posted on Facebook by his spouse.

Under a publication where we can see her in Quebec, she replies to a friend that she is indeed in the province for a few more days.

Taking advantage of the opportunity, Mr. Leblond’s lawyers summoned Gosselin to appear before them to question him about his assets and his ability to repay.

The 45-year-old man did not show up for the appointment.

Ashton Leblond’s prosecutors have therefore turned again to the Superior Court to demand a warrant to bring him – urgently – before he returns to the United States.

“close to fraud”

Judge Louis Dionne, who considered the application in Gosselin’s absence, made this comment during the hearing: Let’s say that, in my own book, it approaches frauddropped the magistrate.

The judge issued the requested order and Gosselin finally showed up at the appointment set by Ashton Leblond’s lawyers to question him.

Even if he has very little hope of recovering his money, Mr. Leblond wanted to pay the costs to take this step and compel Christian Gosselin to testify.

To put him in order, or teach him a lesson in honesty and franknessexclaims the newly retired restaurateur.

Mistrust

Today, Ashton Leblond is enjoying his retirement and wants to continue helping young entrepreneurs. He did it again recently by investing in a young company. But he is much more cautious.

I’m suspicious, that’s for sure, when you get screwed the samehe confides.

Ashton Leblond in interview with journalist Yannick Bergeron.

Ashton Leblond wants to raise awareness about the precautions to take before investing.

Photo: Radio-Canada

He has also agreed to lift the veil on his misfortune with Christian Gosselin and the Home Getaways project to send a message to the population.

Do not invest blindly, he says. He advises to remain vigilant and to demand documents. Must have pro forma, plans for new projects. That is a priority, and after that, having monetary capacity assessmentsinsists Ashton Leblond.

Christian Gosselin, who claims to have been wronged by Permastructures to explain his failure, has not brought any action against this company.

He was unable to present a defense during the trial undertaken by Ashton Leblond, the cause having proceeded by default in his absence.

Christian Gosselin could have requested a revocation of the judgment when he became aware of it, but he did not do so.

With the collaboration of Marie-Josée Paquette-Comeau

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