Threat of defamation lawsuit if documentary about Farber published


Sometime in the 48-hour period my November 6, 2015, telephone interview with Alan Farber, I provided him with several excerpts of video footage arising from a mystery shopping of Michael Cox of Prudent Debt Consulting that took place on October 9, 2015.


In her letter dated November 9, 2015, addressed to me, Melanie Wengle--a lawyer who is also a trustee with A. Farber A. Partners Inc., stated that Farber & Partners was currently seeking legal advice to determine if it would sue me for libel and slander should I publish a documentary involving Farber and Partners that I shared with them shortly prior to November 9th.


When Melanie Wengle wrote her letter to me dated December 9, 2015 she would not have been aware of information that Michael Cox would disclose to the mystery shopper from the first mystery shop--on October 9, 2015, at a second mystery shop that took place on December 9, 2015, at Michael Cox's residence

Three days after my November 6, 2015 phone call with Alan Farber, I received a letter dated November 9, 2015 from Melanie Wengle, a trustee at Farber & Partners--who is also a lawyer.


In this letter Melanie Wengle acknowledged the following facts:

On page one of Melanie Wengle's letter to me dated November 9, 2015 she indicates Farber & Partner is considering suing me if I publish a documentary scrutinizing the firm's dealings with Michael Cox, of Prudent Debt Consulting, a Burlington, Ontario-based firm.  We have added yellow highlights to this letter.

This is a photograph--taken in September of 2015--of the entrance to Suite 507 located at 30 Duke Street West in Kitchener, Ontario.

Graeme Whitehead

Partner

Bankruptcy Trustee

Farber & Partners Inc.

September 28, 2015

mystery shopping encounter

According to the firm's website, reliefcanada.ca, Debt Relief Canada, is a debt consulting firm operating in Ontario.

  • that Farber & Partners Inc. leased space in Kitchener, Ontario in         the same suite as Debt Relief Canada Inc.
  • that Debt Relief Canada Inc. referred insolvency files to the                 Kitchener office of Farber & Partners Inc.

On November 6, 2015, I had a telephone conversation with Alan Farber, Founder and Managing Partner of Farber Financial Group.  Near the very beginning of this phone call I obtained Mr. Farber's expres consent to record this phone call.

On November 6, 2015, I had a telephone conversation with Alan Farber, Founder and Joint Managing Partner of Farber Financial Group, at which time I asked him about the relationship between several debt consultants and Farber and Partners Inc., Bankruptcy Trustees.

Who works in the office suite where Debt Relief Canada's Kitchener office is located?

Debt Relief Canada's website states "We are NOT bankruptcy trustees"

Our firm is on the verge of completing its 2-year investigation into office sharing arrangements between Licensed Insolvency Trustees  (LITs) in southern Ontario--including the use of mystery shoppers armed with hidden cameras.  One such arrangement we looked at involved an office in Kitchener, Ontario located at 30 Duke Street West, Suite 507.  Below you will find photographs visible to members of the public entering Suite 507.

According to its website, Debt Relief Canada's Kitchener office located at 30 Duke Street West in Suite 507.  Another firm, A. Farber & Partners Inc., Licensed Insolvency Trustees, also operates from Suite 507 at 30 Duke Street West in Kitchener, Ontario.  Both Debt Relief Canada and A. Farber & Partners Inc., Licensed Insolvency Trustees, have operated from Suite 507, 30 Duke Street West in Kitchener, Ontario, since at least September of 2015.

Written report prepared by Insolvency Counselor Rebecca Schaafsma of Debt Relief Canada Inc.


At the end of their September 28, 2015 meeting Kitchener, Ontario resident, Rebecca Schaafsma, provided a mystery shopper with an 8-page Assessment Form.  This Form indicates that if the mystery shopper wanted to obtain a consumer proposal through Ms. Schaafsma's firm then she would have to pay Debt Relief Canada Inc. a minimum of $1,400.00, plus H.S.T.


This completed Initial Assessment form can be found below.

On Monday, September 28, 2015 a married woman using the pseudonym Vanessa Martin, armed with a hidden miniature camera ,met with Rebecca Schaafsma, an Insolvency Counsellor at Debt Relief Canada's Kitchener office where it shares a suite with A. Farber & Partners Inc., Bankruptcy Trustees (now known as Licensed Insolvency Trustees).

2-year investigation into office sharing arrange-

ments between trustees and debt consultants

November 6, 2015


Alan Farber

Founder and Joint Managing Partner

Farber Financial Group

Who worked out of shared office space in Kitchener, Ontario in September of 2015?

My interview with the Founder and Managing Partner of Farber Financial Group

You can listen to an audio recording (26 minutes) of my November 6, 2015 telephone conversation with Alan Farber, Founder and Joint Managing Partner of Farber Financial Group.

According to the website for A. Farber & Partners Inc., afarber.com, Sonya Strand is the Licensed Insolvency Trustee working out of Farber's Kitchener, Ontario office located at 30 Duke Street West, Suite 507.

On page 2 of Melanie Wengle's letter to me dated November 9, 2015 she defends Farber & Partner's current arrangement sharing space with Debt Relief Canada Inc. in its Kitchener office.

Concerns raised about A. Farber & Partners' relationship with Debt Relief Canada Inc. and Michael Cox of Prudent Debt Consulting


In my November 6, 2015 telephone interview with Alan Farber, Founder and Joint Managing Founder of Farber Financial Group, I raised concerns about Farber's shared office with Debt Relief Canada Inc. and its dealings with a Burlington, Ontario-based debt consultant, Michael Cox, of Prudent Debt Consulting.

On December 2, 2015--the same mystery shopper who met with debt consultant Michael Cox of Burlington, Ontario-based Prudent Debt Consulting, on October 9, 2015--met with Michael Cox at his residence in Burlington, Ontario.

By Mark Silverthorn

Founder, Comprehensive Debt Solutions

This screenshot of the homepage for www.reliefcanada.ca.was taken on October 2nd, 2017

Debt Relief Canada's Kitchener, Ontario office is located in Suite 507 at 30 Duke Street West in Kitchener, Ontario.  The firm has operated from that location as early as September of 2015.

Following my November 6, 2015 telephone conversation with Alan Farber of A. Farber & Partners Inc., I provided him with some short video excerpts from an encounter on October 9, 2015, between a mystery shopper, armed with a hidden camera, and a Burlington, Ontario based debt consultant, Michael Cox, of Prudent Debt Consulting, which took place at a coffee shop in Hamilton, Ontario.

At the bottom of the homepage--and on every webpage--on relief canada.ca there is a statement "We are NOT bankruptcy trustees".


The individuals operating Debt Relief Canada may not be aware that effective April 1, 2016, the designation "bankruptcy trustee" was changed to "Licensed Insolvency Trustee" or "LIT".

According to the firm's website, reliefcanada.ca, Debt Relief Canada's Kitchener, Ontario office in an office tower at 30 Duke Street West.


In September of 2015 two different female mystery shoppers attended at the Kitchener office of Debt Relief Canada on multiple dates--armed with hidden video cameras--and each time Rebecca Schaafsma, Debt Relief Canada Inc.'s Kitchener-based debt consultant, not only recommended that our mystery shopper do a consumer proposal but also that they do it through a trustee working for Farber & Partners Inc.

Melanie Wengle's letter dated November 9, 2015 sent to Mark Silverthorn via e-mail

Chad Zizzo

Debt Solutions Manager

Farber & Partners Inc.

Facts acknowledged by A. Farber & Partners in November 9, 2015 letter

2015 Mystery shopping of shared Kitchener office

Sonya Strand, BA, CIRP

Licensed Insolvency Trustee

Farber & Parntners Inc.

This photograph--taken in October of 2017--shows that A. Farber & Partners Inc., Licensed Insolvency Trustees, would appear to have been sharing office space with a debt consulting firm, Debt Relief Canada Inc. for at least the past two years.

Debt Relief Canada: Kitchener office

"We never share these offices    with debt consultants"

Photographs of entrance to Suite 507 at 30 Duke Street West in Kitchener, Ontario

This 30-second video shows a pedestrian approaching an office tower located at 30 Duke Street West, where Debt Relief Canada Inc. and A. Farber & Partners Inc. share office space.

Melanie Wengle

Partner, B.A., LL.B.

Licensed Insolvency Trustee

​Farber & Partners Inc.

In September of 2015 the following three individuals worked out of Suite 507, 30 Duke Street West in Kitchener, Ontario.

Rebecca Schaafsma

Insolvency Counselor

Debt Relief Canada Inc.

September 14, 2015

mystery shopping encounter


On the evening of Monday, September 14, 2015, a young woman armed with a hidden miniature camera met with Rebecca Schaafsma, an Insolvency Counsellor, at Debt Relief Canada's Kitchener office where it shares a suite with A. Farber & Partners Inc., Bankruptcy Trustees (now known as Licensed Insolvency Trustees).

Below you will find a copy of Melanie Wengle's November 9, 2015 2-page letter sent to me via e-mail.

Written report prepared by Insolvency Counselor Rebecca Schaafsma of Debt Relief Canada Inc.


The mystery shopper who met with Kitchener, Ontario resident, Rebecca Schaafsma, on September 14, 2015 indicated that she had $11,300.00 in debt.


During this meeting Rebecca Schaafsma prepared a written report on an 8-page document titled Initial Assessment.  

This form was given to the mystery shopper at the end of their meeting.  According to this document if the mystery shopper wanted to obtain a consumer proposal through Ms. Schaafsma's firm then she would have to pay Debt Relief Canada $700.00, plus H.S.T.  


This completed Initial Assessment form is reproduced below:

Alan Farber​

Founder and Joint Managing Partner

Farber Financial Group

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