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Feuding Kelowna siblings back to court over sale of father's $5.5M home

The $5.5 million Frost Road property.
The $5.5 million Frost Road property.
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A Kelowna businessman wrapped up in a decades-long feud with his three brothers over the control of their multi-million dollar company, is suing over the sale of his late father's $5.5-million house.

Ted Callahan filed a notice of claim May 19, against his brother Bruce Callahan, arguing the money from the sale of Lloyd Callahan's home should be held in trust as part of his late father's estate.

The court document says the property, which sits on 16 acres in the Southwest Mission, sold in 2021 for $5,533,000 and Bruce pocketed the cash.

The court filing starts yet more litigation between the brothers.

"There is a long history of disputes and litigation involving Ted, his brothers, and Lloyd," BC Supreme Court Justice Heather MacNaughton said in 2022. "For the most part, Bob, Bruce, and Doug aligned with Lloyd, and Ted was the outlier. Accusations of self-dealing and breach of trust have been made by Bob, Bruce, Doug and Lloyd against Ted and he has made similar accusations against them."

Several years earlier in a separate case, BC Supreme Court Justice Ronald Skolrood had said the only thing not in dispute was the "significant rift in the family and a high degree of animosity and distrust."

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The family's story in Kelowna starts in the late 1960s when Lloyd began working in real estate and developing land after selling his Fort St. John trucking company.

In the late 1980s, when things weren't going well, Ted quit law school and began working with his father.

By 2004, when the brothers went into mediation to sort out ownership of the company it was worth $300 million.

Ted owns Argus Properties, which has commercial, residential and hotel interests, including the Hotel Eldorado and Manteo Beach.

Last November, the BC Court of Appeal appeared to finally settle a seven-year-long legal battle over the Shasta Mobile Home Park.

The mobile home park sits across from Rotary Beach and was considered the "Crown Jewel" of their real estate portfolio and was purchased by Ted's father in 1968.

While the park only generated about $500,000 in profits a year the land has sentimental value for all four brothers who have had shares in it since they were children. It's also a prime site for redevelopment in an area rapidly changing.

Last fall, Justice Mary Newbury ruled the park could be liquidated, a move Ted had opposed.

"After 20 years of acrimony at the expense of various Callahan family enterprises, the hope that one day the brothers would co-operate in developing the ‘Crown Jewel’ was simply no longer plausible," the Justice said.

While that court ruling appeared to put to bed the lengthy litigation, Ted's latest filing will mean more time in a courtroom for the family.

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The Notice of Claim says their father, Lloyd died in 2021 without a will.

The court documents say in 2012 Lloyd transferred the title of his Frost Road residence into a joint tenancy with Bruce for $1.

Months after Lloyd died, Bruce transferred the title to the property into his name as the only surviving joint tenant.

He later sold the house for $5.3 million.

Ted claims in the court document that his father never intended to gift the property away.

"(Bruce) has denied that there are any assets in (Lloyd's) estate and has not accounted to (Lloyd's) estate for the sale proceeds from the sale of the residence," the Notice of Claim reads. Ted asks that the money from the sale be put in trust as part of his father's estate.

How this chapter of their family affairs will end remains to be seen.

Bruce Callahan has yet to file a statement of defence. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

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Neither party returned's request for comment.

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