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Frank Stronach’s granddaughter seeks company documents related to misconduct allegations

The granddaughter of billionaire businessman Frank Stronach is asking an Ontario court to order the family business to disclose any documents that may exist related to sexual misconduct allegations against him and settlements involving whistleblowers.

In a recent court filing, Selena Stronach argues that media coverage of sexual assault allegations against her grandfather suggests the alleged misconduct “likely occurred in a corporate environment and included misuse of corporate assets.”

The filing is the latest in an ongoing legal battle over the management of The Stronach Group and family’s estate.

A lawsuit filed by Selena Stronach in 2019 alleges that her aunt, Belinda Stronach (daughter of Frank Stronach and the company’s chairman, CEO and president), and others have mismanaged trusts containing the family’s assets for their own benefit.

A spokesperson for The Stronach Group sent a statement on behalf of Belinda Stronach on Wednesday, saying it would oppose the motion and that the “basis of the opposition will be presented to the court.”

The statement also addressed the allegations against her father, calling them “deeply disturbing” but declining to comment further due to the court case.

The company issued a statement last month acknowledging the charges against Frank Stronach and noting that he “has not played a formal role nor been involved in the company’s operations in any capacity for several years.”

The Stronach Group said at the time it would not comment further on the criminal allegations, citing the court case.

Frank Stronach was first charged last month with five sex crimes involving three complainants, who were soon charged with eight additional counts involving seven complainants.

Court documents show the charges include rape, attempted rape, indecent assault, forcible confinement and sexual assault, and relate to alleged incidents dating back to 1977 and as recently as this year.

Stronach’s attorney, Brian Greenspan, has said his client denies all allegations against him and plans to “vigorously” defend his reputation.

The criminal case is scheduled to return to a court in Brampton, Ontario, in early October.

Stronach, 91, became one of Canada’s richest people as the founder of auto parts giant Magna, a company he started in his garage in 1957.

He also founded The Stronach Group, a company specializing in horse racing, and founded Stronach International in 2018, a company focused on organic foods and “micro-electric mobility.”

Stronach resigned as chairman of Magna in 2011 and founded his own political party in his home country of Austria the following year.

The lawsuit filed by Selena Stronach claims that Frank Stronach left the Stronach Group in 2013 to run for office in Austria.

As a result, her daughter became more involved in running the business and was named trustee of all or most of the trusts that “serve as primary vehicles” for holding the family’s assets and distributing wealth among relatives, she says.

“For years, defendants have repeatedly ignored and breached their fiduciary duties and have managed and distributed assets without any consideration for Selena, despite her beneficial interest in the trusts,” the lawsuit alleges.

A defense statement denies that Selena Stronach was mistreated or kept in the dark about the family’s finances.

“Selena’s various allegations of mismanagement of TSG, misuse of funds, lack of information and breach of fiduciary duties are without merit,” it said.

Selena Stronach’s notice of motion says the company’s statement after sexual assault allegations against her grandfather surfaced in early June “failed to deny prior knowledge of the allegations” against him.

“Given the absence of a denial by TSG, it is likely that records exist that reveal a pattern of misconduct by Mr. Stronach that includes corporate knowledge and, potentially, facilitation and concealment.”

The allegations have not yet been proven in court. A hearing on the disclosure motion is scheduled for early next month.

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