The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/g/grosvenor.william/press/alberta-report.890703



"Master of Malice: The Ghermezians put an end to Bill Grosvenor's 'news 
tips'"  ALBERTA REPORT, July 3, 1989, Pg. 19-20. By Tom Philip and Glenn 
Kubish

Edmonton Reporters know all about William (Bill) Grosvenor's "news 
tips."  The invariably concern the Ghermezian family, developers of West 
Edmonton Mall, and they always have something bad to say about the 
Ghermezians and their company, Triple Five Corporation.  "Hi, it's Bill 
Grosvenor," goes a typical call.  "I've just persuaded the British 
authorities to cancel the Leeds project."  A few phone calls and the 
"story" inevitably turns out to be false.  But other Grosvenor claims are 
downright defamatory - a favorite is that the Ghermezians are selling 
drugs in the video arcade at West Edmonton Mall - and Grosvenor doesn't 
just make them to Edmonton reporters, with whom he has exhausted 
whatever credibility he might once have had.  Grosvenor, like the 
Ghermezians, has expanded his operations to Europe, where he has made 
his malicious comments to newspaper reporters and businessmen who don't 
know any better than to believe him.

The Ghermezians - brothers Raphael, Bahman, Eskander and Nader - fear 
Grosvenor may have done significant damage to their business ventures in 
Europe, where they are negotiating to replicate West Edmonton Mall with 
developments in Leeds, England and Oberhausen, West Germany.  Yet they 
did little about it until an Alberta Report story last month quoted 
Grosvenor admitting he intends "to use all means at my disposal anywhere 
in the world to put the Ghermezians out of business."  The Ghermezians 
cited the story, which detailed Grosvenor's methods and motives, in 
obtaining an interim injunction from Mr. Justice D.R. Matheson of the 
Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta two weeks ago.  It prevents Grosvenor 
from  making "any statement intending to prejudice the minds of the 
public" against the Ghermezians, and from communicating with anyone 
doing business with the family.  A few days later they obtained a 
similar injunction from a court in West Germany, where Triple Five is 
negotiating to build a $6-billion World Tourist Centre in the north 
Rhine city of Oberhausen.

The Ghermezians backed their application for the gag order with stories 
from  Alberta Report and the West German newspaper Die Zeit.  Alberta 
Report has also obtained numerous letters, court documents, newspaper 
articles - even Grosvenor's own resume - dating back to 1970, revealing 
that Grosvenor, 48, has a criminal record for assault and extortion, 
that he was diagnosed at Riverview Psychiatric Hospital in British 
Columbia in 1973 as suffering from a paranoid personality disorder, and 
that his harassment of the Ghermezians is only the latest in a 20-year 
series of vendettas against corporations and individuals, including 
leading figures of the British Columbia legislature and judiciary.  The 
documents also reveal a remarkable willingness on the part of some 
newspapers to accept Grosvenor at face value.  The Edmonton Journal, in 
particular, has described him over the years as a "consultant," an 
"import-export consultant" and "president of an international management 
consulting firm," lending Grosvenor a credibility which his history 
shows is not deserved.

William David Michael Grosvenor's career as a self-described opponent of 
graft and corruption began shortly after he arrived in Toronto (he says 
from  England) in the mid-1960s, and it got off to an inauspicious start.  
According to a Vancouver Sun story about Grosvenor in July 1970, 
Grosvenor was fined $50 in April 1967 for assaulting a security guard 
who was attempting to eject him from a bank he was picketing over 
alleged "irregularity."  At about the same time, Grosvenor claimed 
credit for uncovering wrongdoing in the affairs of Prudential Finance 
Corp., an Ontario company that collapsed owing creditors $20 million.  
But then-Finance minister Mitchell Sharp told parliament that Grosvenor 
had "revealed nothing of value."  Indeed, Mr. Sharp believed that 
Grosvenor, who describes himself in his resume as "a registered expert 
on fraudulent bankruptcies with the RCMP," had probably been fired by 
Prudential's auditors.  In 1968, after a brief stint with an accounting 
firm in Halifax (where he changed his name from Gruber), Grosvenor left 
for Prince Rupert, B.C., where he found work with accountant Odd 
Eidsvik.  A source claims Mr. Eidsvik soon became disenchanted with 
Grosvenor's work and cut his pay in half.

It was while living in Prince Rupert that Grosvenor discovered a new 
avenue for pursuing his many grievances: the courts.  In February 1970, 
Grosvenor charged Prince Rupert MLA William Murray and provincial court 
Judge W.N. Poole under the B.C. Companies Act with failing to file an 
annual return for companies of which he claimed they were directors.  A 
district judge promptly threw out the charges, noting that Grosvenor had 
failed to make even a prima facie case that Mr. Murray and Judge Poole 
were directors of the companies in question - but not before the story 
was picked up and prominently displayed by the Vancouver Province, which 
printed the news of the charges without comment.  At about the same 
time, Grosvenor charged the local Bank of Montreal with forgery.  Again 
the case was dismissed, with Judge J.T. Harvey labelling Grosvenor a 
"master of malice" for bringing an action against a bank that had 
intended only to spare him the embarrassment of having a cheque bounce.

All told, Grosvenor brought seven court cases in less than a year while 
living in Prince Rupert.  Four never got to trial, two were dismissed 
and one ended with Grosvenor being ordered to pay a counter-claim larger 
than the amount owed him.  In July 1970, Mr. Justice A.B. Macfarlane of 
the B.C. Supreme Court invoked a law designed to prevent abuse of the 
courts to prohibit Grosvenor from instituting any new legal proceedings 
in the province without the permission of a court.  In the meantime, 
Grosvenor himself had faced charges.  In April 1970 he was convicted of 
attempting to extort $50 from Prince Rupert businessman Campbell McLeod 
by threatening to prosecute him under the B.C. Companies Act.  He was 
sentenced to one day in jail and fined $400.

Shortly thereafter Grosvenor moved to suburban Vancouver, where he found 
a new target in General Motors Canada Ltd. (GM), manufacturers of the 
problem-plagued Firenza.  In May 1973 he and a woman named Hendrika 
Peeters, with whom he shared a New Westminster address, stationed 
themselves outside a Vancouver GM dealership and attempted to steer 
potential customers to another GM dealership a few blocks away.  "It is 
utterly incredible to me," said Mr. Justice A.A. Mackoff of the B.C. 
Supreme Court in issuing an injunction barring Grosvenor from the site, 
"that a group saying it seeks to relay information about General Motors 
should have the temerity to say this GM dealer is a good guy and the 
other GM dealer, who sells the same products they labelled as junk, is a 
bad guy."  Throughout the affair, Grosvenor passed himself off as the 
B.C. representative of the respected Automobile Protection Association 
(APA), prompting APA president Phil Edmonston to ask B.C.'s attorney-
general to investigate whether Grosvenor had been "soliciting money or 
carrying out other undesirable activities in our name."

Grosvenor dropped out of sight during the mid-1970s, during which time 
he claims to have been a consultant, "processed for top secret and 
military security clearance," to the prime minister of Malaysia.  In 
1980 he surfaced in Edmonton where he threatened to sue the city for 
$200 when a tent belonging to a Malaysian cultural group with which he 
was associated blew down in a storm during the city's Heritage Days 
festival.  In February 1980, he also gained attention when he apologized 
to the Iranian Embassy for Canada's role in spiriting six U.S. diplomats 
out of Tehran in the days following the Islamic revolution.  Grosvenor 
called the assistance given to the diplomats by Kenneth Taylor, Canada's 
ambassador to Iran, a "criminal act" intended to aid U.S. "spies."

In the intervening years, Grosvenor has waged an unceasing campaign 
intended, in his words "to put the Ghermezians out of business."  After 
returning from West Germany last week, Grosvenor was holed up in his 
home in Edmonton's Dickinsfield neighbourhood, reportedly refusing 
service of the Triple Five gag order.  The company's lawyers were 
preparing to go to court again Monday morning for an order allowing them 
to nail the injunction to the door of Grosvenor's home, which is in fact 
owned by his wife, Sario.  Grosvenor could also face extortion charges 
in connection with his campaign against the Ghermezians.  According to a 
$22-million lawsuit filed against him by the family, Grosvenor told a 
Ghermezian associate that a payment of $1.2 million would leave him "too 
busy to continue his harassment of the plaintiffs for at least three 
year."  The Ghermezians intend to keep him quiet for a lot longer than 
that.

                     //////////-----\\\\\\\\\\


Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.