Derrick Snowdy is probably as close to a celebrity as Canada’s private investigator community has. Starting in 2010, Snowdy burst into view as a prime mover in the political controversy colloquially known as “the busty hookers scandal.”
Snowdy proved to be a quick study at capturing an audience’s attention, ever ready to regale listeners with some of the inside stories from his investigations. So when Catalyst Capital founder Newton Glassman brought a stemwinder of a defamation litigation in 2017 against a host of hedge fund managers and journalists, it was not surprising to see Snowdy involved. (Foundation for Financial Journalism readers will recall our two 2018 investigations that looked into the quality of disclosures at Callidus Capital and Catalyst Capital, the two investment vehicles Glassman controlled. In July 2019 Catalyst amended the initial defamation claim to add Bruce Livesey, the article’s co-author, as a defendant.)
After all, given the numerous well-heeled defendants — and their lawyers, many sporting big litigation budgets — the prospects for an investigator with a knack for digging into corporate fraud seemed attractive.
Things are not going well for Newton Glassman. In April he was the subject of a lengthy exposé that detailed the many ways his direction of Catalyst Capital Group Inc., a Toronto-based private equity fund with $4.3 billion in capital commitments, and its sister company Callidus Capital Corp. should alarm investors and regulators. Plus, Glassman directed the fund’s plunge into a series of costly and reputation-threatening lawsuits against a host of purported enemies.
It was corporate skulduggery at its most audacious. Last September Frank Newbould dined at Scaramouche, a swanky downtown Toronto restaurant, with a businessman who said he would like to hire Newbould as an arbitrator. In reality, this was a ruse to engineer an attempted sting on Newbould, a retired Ontario judge, as the National Post reported.
For eight years, Craig Boyer was a senior executive at Callidus Capital, and by the time he quit in 2016 he was its chief underwriter and vice president. But last year Boyer sued Callidus for CA$100,000 in damages, claiming the company had denied him health and other benefits and seeking the return of his stock options.