Man behind failed auto auction, talent contest controversy suing tow truck company

A Kamloops man who last made headlines while attempting to open a failed auto auction in a vacant North Shore parking lot is in court this week after filing a lawsuit against a Barriere towing company, alleging they wrecked his vehicle.

Paul Pearson sued North River Towing following an alleged incident in late 2016.

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In court on Tuesday, Pearson said his SUV was towed after he received an immediate roadside prohibition (IRP) from an RCMP officer who found him behind the wheel of the vehicle after drinking. Pearson said he was warming up in the car while working outside on his farm and enjoying “a couple of beers.”

“The farm is one where I run thoroughbred racehorses,” he testified. “I breed and I raise them.”

Pearson said he watched the tow company leave with his vehicle. The next day, he said, he went to the company’s yard to retrieve “a bag of silver coins” from the back seat.

While he was there, Pearson said, the vehicle appeared to be in working order. Just over a week later, when he went to retrieve the SUV after learning the IRP had been “cancelled,” Pearson said, he arrived to find it inoperable.

In 2015, Pearson was behind the failed launch of Kamloops Auto Auctions, which he attempted to set up in the former Strauss Herbs building on Fortune Drive.

At the time, Pearson gave a false name to KTW, going by the made-up monicker of Ray Wilson, while describing the operations of the would-be business. In its short life, Kamloops Auto Auction found itself in hot water with the City of Kamloops and the subject of an investigation by the Vehicle Sales Authority of B.C.

The company’s first auction never took place and the business was shuttered.

In 2013, Pearson was the subject of a warning by the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs regarding a talent contest he had created.

In 2010, Pearson was sentenced to 20 months of house arrest and ordered to pay $158,000 in restitution after scamming booth exhibitors at phoney trade shows in Red Deer, Alta., and Calgary.

The offences took place between 2007 and 2009, when Pearson began advertising trade shows online. He collected money from 18 victims.

Pearson declared bankruptcy in 2005. Three years earlier, he was convicted and fined under the Trade Practices Act for deceiving customers of his log-home company.

He and his wife live on a farm north of Heffley Creek.

Pearson’s small claims trial is scheduled to conclude on Wednesday.

© Kamloops This Week

 


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