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Robert G. Miller
Brigitte Noël ( View profile)Brigitte Noël
Four new victims wish to be added to the class action against billionaire Robert Miller, including a woman who would have been 11 years old at the time of the alleged events. Like all other plaintiffs in the case, she requested anonymity and is identified only by her initials.
This brings to 39 the number of women who have joined the collective action against the Quebec businessman, which has not yet been authorized. Three other individual lawsuits have also been filed, all by women who claim Robert Miller sexually exploited them when they were minors. The businessman contests all proceedings and denies all allegations against him.
The affidavits of the most recent alleged victims were filed Monday by the Consumer Law Group firm, which is leading the class action. The stories echo the stories relayed by the
Enquête report.aired last February, where women reported being recruited and paid by Robert Miller for sexual acts while they were still minors, aged between 14 and 17.
However, one of the most recent participants in the class action says that she was barely 11 years old when she met the wealthy businessman.
In the affidavit, the young woman says she was recruited in 1999 by two older girls who were looking for virgins for Bob.
It was summer and I had just finished my 6th grade, she says, adding that she went to the Queen Elizabeth Hotel with her best friend, who was the same age. When we arrived, before entering the room, I got scared and started crying.
It was Raymond Poulet, Robert Miller's matchmaker, who welcomed her, then brought her to him. The billionaire then allegedly offered them alcohol. He asked me my age and I told him I was 11, she wrote in her affidavit.
After the same rituals described by most of the businessman's alleged victims, the two friends allegedly had complete, unprotected sexual intercourse with him. He then allegedly gave each of them an envelope containing $5,000 in cash.
Recall that in Canada, in 1999, the age of consent for relationships sexual relations was 14 years old. According to the Criminal Code, any sexual relationship with minors aged 14 or over becomes a crime the moment it is paid for. In the context where the victim is 11 years old, consent cannot be given.
After the initial meeting, this victim would have seen Robert Miller around thirty times, at the hotel and in his homes in Westmount, until he was 20.
According to the affidavit, each meeting resulted in numerous gifts and other envelopes containing $5,000. The billionaire would also have wanted to pay for trips for him, but since I was very young, it was quite complicated.
Convinced that Robert Miller wanted her good, she even introduced him to her mother. I told her that I had met a gentleman who was going to help us, she said. The three of us ate together at his house, and he gave us an envelope with $10,000 in it.
She says she found herself in a cycle that was difficult to break where she had to constantly recruit other young girls for him. She is still full of remorse today for having introduced her own friends to Bob.
She considers having suffered significant psychological after-effects. I had a lot of self-esteem issues and aggression, she wrote in the affidavit. I still have nightmares, I can't sleep well.
The older girls who lured her into the billionaire's world also supplied her with cocaine before dates, starting when she was 11, and she says she became addicted to it.
Then, in 2009, she claims to have been approached by the police who, according to her, treated her like a pimp and not as a victim. Scared, she did not want to confide in the authorities, she says. They tried to contact me a couple of times, but eventually "Bob" spoke to them and they left me alone, she maintains.
Last February, the show
Enquête revealed that Robert Miller allegedly spent years paying underage teenage girls in exchange for sex. According to testimonies collected as part of this report as well as after its broadcast, Mr. Miller's activities would have spanned nearly a quarter of a century, from 1992 to 2016. Robert Miller denies all facts with which he is accused.
Since the release of the report, Mr. Miller has been the target of several legal proceedings: three individual suits, where nearly $30 million are claimed, and a request for class action authorization, for which Consumer Law Group hopes to obtain an average of $4 million per victim. The class action request has still not been authorized.
We expect at least 50 people to join the class action, writes Jeff Orenstein of Consumer Law Group in an email to Radio-Canada. Considering the compensatory and punitive damages claims for each alleged victim, we estimate that we will need $200 million Canadian dollars to honor a favorable judgment.
Monday afternoon, the lawyers leading the class action began steps to freeze the billionaire's assets to ensure that the alleged victims would be compensated in the event of their victory in court.
So they filed a Mareva motion to have $200 million of Robert Miller's fortune set aside. The motion will be heard on November 2.
A Mareva injunction restricts a person's ability to dispose of assets held anywhere in the world, writes Mr. Orenstein. We ask the court to protect the members of the class from this unfair situation. We believe we have met all the conditions for a Mareva order to be granted, but that is for the court to decide.
In this request, we learn, among other things, that Robert Miller remains untraceable: the bailiffs responsible for serving the class action to the billionaire were unable to contact him and had to go through his lawyers.
Consumer Law Group also argues that Mr. Miller and his team took steps to conceal the businessman's assets.
February 21, 2023, a few weeks after the broadcast of the
Investigation report, Robert Miller is said to have transferred his luxurious Westmount home, valued at $9.5 million, to a numbered company run by his son for the sum of $1.
Above all, it is noted that a lawyer for Mr. Miller allegedly told an alleged victim – with whom he wanted to settle amicably – that he could only offer her $72,000, because The billionaire's money was tied up in his company.
The company in question, Future Electronics, however, was sold for more than $5 billion in September, a transaction that should be finalized in 2024. However, lawyer Jeff Orenstein maintains that this sum will not necessarily be deposited in a Canadian bank account, and therefore not necessarily accessible to victims.
Mr. Orenstein says he sent a copy of his steps to several government agencies – including the ministries of Justice of Canada and Quebec, and the Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Energy – as well as to a few deputies. With this, he hopes that regulators will force Future Electronics to deposit the proceeds of its sale in Canada.
There are federal agencies that could intervene at name of the alleged victims, which could make it a condition of sale, explains Me Jeff Orenstein. We believe that, if the sale of Future Electronics is carried out without conditions or constraints, there is a risk that the plaintiffs will not receive compensation, even in the event of a favorable judgment.
At the time of writing these lines, Robert Miller's lawyers had not responded to Radio-Canada's questions.
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