Another litigious Christmas chez Aik Aliferis. The shortarsed CEO of Primecorp, the esteemed Ottawa strip mall hucksters, remains locked in his middle-aged-crazy divorce battle with wife Afrodity.
The fun couple nuptiated in ’95, three years before Aik solemnized his winning Primecorp partnership with co-founders Nick Pantieras, Sam Firestone and Steve Lerner.
Twenty years, two kids, countless blowout parties and shop-til-you drop luxury vacations later, they officially separated in February 2015. Afrodity triggered the Grexit by moving out last December.
Shockingly, despite Primecorp’s self-reported $6 billion in sales of office buildings, apartments, retail and other prime slabs of drab, Aik’s crying poor in court, insisting the family finances are underwater. According to Aik (rhymes with “I like Ike”), he has a mere $1.2 million in assets, hobbled by $3 million in debt.
The matrimonial monster home at 40 Winding Way, he values at a mere $1.2 mil, and it’s mortgaged for $1.585M. The toys in the garage add much fun, little value. The 2007 Jaguar convertible? $7,500; The 2009 Maserati? $33,000. The 2014 BMW 650? Leased. Ditto the Range Rover, currently Afrodity’s chariot.
Aik, 57, says his income fluctuates, but he generally scrapes by on $400K-$800K a year. Though as so often happens when one parts ways with the missus, his income has taken a hit since their separation, tanking from $431,138 in 2015 to a mere $246,506 in 2016.
Case Management Master Marie Fortier has set interim child support for the kids (son Xristopher at Ashbury, daughter Liberty at McGill) at $4,650 a month, based on an income of $381,361.
Since Afrodity moved out — he pays the mortgage and utilities on her new pile — he figures he’s paid her $150,000 and spent the same amount on the kids’ school and activities. And the trips:
“In November of 2015, the Respondent paid for the Applicant and their daughter to spend 6 days in Paris at the Bristol Hotel.
“In December of 2016, the Respondent spent one week in Florida. He then paid for two Florida trips for the applicant. The first, a week-long trip in early January and a second, a long weekend trip in February…The Applicant also paid for a first-class ticket to Italy for May 2017 at the Applicant’s request.”
How does he do it?
“The respondent uses collateralized debt and unsecured debt to pay for his high expense, both professional and personal. He has made every effort to meet with all of his debt load in order to cover all of these financial obligations. He has also purchased a house for the Applicant to live in.”
Aik and his numbered companies are into Primecorp for over $582,000 in loans, according to his court filings. And he values his ownership stake in Primecorp at a mere $99,000.
As of March, Aik figured he owed $44,000 in corporate taxes, $73,000 in HST, another $124,000 in income tax and $6,800 in property tax.
Among the coterie of banks floating the conspicuously festive Aliferis lifestyle: CIBC Dividend Platinum Visa ($30,000); Scotiabank Visa ($25,000), RBC Visa ($11,000); Scotiabank line of credit ($130,015), TD line of credit ($50,000).
The Applicant, Afrodity Alferis (nee Andonakakis) ain’t appeased.
“The Respondent has largely kept the family finances hidden from the Applicant and refuses to provide her with the full disclosure required to determine a true picture of the Respondent’s income and assets,” complained Afro in court docs in March, her briefs carried by Karen Leef (Pender and Leef).
“The Respondent has repeatedly insisted to the Applicant that the family has no money and yet has been spending excessively for himself, his girlfriend and their friends.”
The girlfriend in question would be Aik’s new soulmate and constant companion, Samar Saab. The two are inseparable — apart from a six-month hiatus during which she dated swingin’ single dad Doug Assaly (Franks passim). They’re constantly tootling off to Mexico, Miami, Las Cabos, Beverly Hills, Bahamas, New York, etc.
Local legend has it Afro first scented trouble on a shopping trip to Montreal, when she popped into Holt’s and was asked how she’d liked the Hermes scarf Aik had purchased for her. Er, Hermes scarf?
Intrigued, she hired a private eye, who in due course observed Aik, ostensibly enroute to Miami, boarding a flight to Bahamas instead, with Samar and a couple of her galpals in tow. Afro had champagne and strawberries sent to Aik and Samar’s suite at the Cove Atlantis– and charged it to his credit card. Or so the story goes.
These days, Afro complains her own credit cards are getting declined at the grocery store or the gas station. The poor girl hasn’t had a job in a decade, and tells her friends she’s hawking her jewelery on Kijiji and has been forced to rely on legal aid in her bid to find where Aik’s stashed all the money.
“The Respondent has been verbally abusive towards the Applicant (e.g. yelling at her, name calling), emotionally abusive (e.g. belittling and insulting towards her and her abilities) and financially abusive (e.g. controlling the money such that the Applicant cannot afford groceries or gas for her car for her and the children, while the Respondent is taking luxury vacations and throwing lavish parties).”
But Aik (AKA John Steve Aliferis) through legalist Katrina Anders (Anders, Young, Strong & Jonah) says he’s been entirely forthcoming with the financial disclosures, and it is he who fears for his business, his reputation, even his very life!
First came the deluge of texts from Afro, which only ceased, he pleads, upon the involvement of counsel. Then, he says, Afro started talking to his business associates and turning the kids against him:
“Where both parties have always had a close relationship with both children, suddenly Liberty advised her father that she never wanted to speak to him again. She had blocked the Respondent from her electronic devices.”
One night last March, he claims, Afro went full maenad on him, appearing unannounced, and much-pissed, at Winding Way:
“The Applicant entered the matrimonial home on a Friday night at 11 p.m. while the Respondent was lying in bed. She had not returned to the home in over 2 months, and she had not advised the Respondent that she was coming to the home.
“The Applicant then entered the bedroom, and started screaming at the Applicant. She threatened to kill him and blamed him for a variety of issues that he had no knowledge of. She told the Respondent that she was going to ruin his business and his reputation in the community. The Applicant then insulted the Respondent’s new partner (who was not present). The applicant told the Respondent that she would tell the children that he loved his new partner more and didn’t care about them. She advised him that she wasn’t going to stop until the children hated him.
“She then destroyed some minor personal property. Before leaving, she broke into the Respondent’s car and removed the Respondent’s paperwork and other documents…The respondent did fear for his life at that moment as the Applicant seemed enraged. He had done nothing to provoke her in any way.”
Not a thing Frank can think of, anyway!