Former immigration consultant and businessman-turned-teacher Liang Chen is unable to repay two businesses that sued him in civil court, a Yellowknife judge has determined.
Chen owes more than $62,000 to Capital City Construction and interior design business Charlotte Henry Design for a gift store he was building for a client.
The plan for the store fell through, and the companies were not paid for their work.
On Monday, Chen appeared at the Yellowknife courthouse to address this issue, and Judge Garth Malakoe found that given his current financial circumstances, Chen is unable to make repayments as directed by the civil court verdict.
Representing himself at the hearing, Chen presented legal documents and tax receipts to verify his precarious financial situation.
Chen is currently employed as a substitute teacher at the Yellowknife Catholic School Board, making around $2,000 a month, which represents most of his income.
He said he spends more than $3,000 he makes a month on living costs and legal fees.
He told the court his financial situation is so dire, he’s considering filing for bankruptcy.
After reviewing the documents, Malakoe said he didn’t see that Chen is able to make any kind of reparations at this time.
This is not the first time Chen has been in hot water over his business dealings in court.
On May 4, 2021, he was found in contempt of court for failing to appear for a fourth time in a civil dispute with former client Shengtang Wang.
Wang was suing Chen for $425,000 in damages for a breach of contract and “outrageous conduct” and Chen counter-sued Wang for $4.6 million in exemplary damages.
An arrest warrant was issued in March 2022 after Chen failed to appear in court to address this issue.
After hearing this in the news, he turned himself into police and told CBC it was a “misunderstanding.”
The civil court ruling still stands, and another payment hearing will take place in the future.
Yellowknifer attempted to reach Chen for comment but he did not respond prior to publication deadline.