29 October 2013
Blanchette Press fighting $8.5-mil lawsuit
RICHMOND, B.C.—Blanchette Press is defending itself against allegations that the company and members of the Blanchette family have scammed a Texas couple out of US$8.5 million.

Filed by Heidi Hanna and Charles Hill, the suit names the family-run Blanchette Press business and its U.S. subsidiary, plus Kim and Mary Ellen Blanchette and their sons Aaron, Adam, Mark, Matt and Joel. In an emailed response to PrintCAN, owner Kim Blanchette said "the allegations against the companies, me and other family members are completely meritless."

The lawsuit was filed in Houston, Texas in early October, and is pending. On Monday, Oct. 28 the Blanchettes filed a civil claim counter-suit against Hanna and Hill in B.C. Supreme Court.

Hanna and Hill's suit describes the Blanchette family as "nothing more than a pack of thieves." Joel Blanchette is said to have obtained $8.5 million from the couple in order to qualify for a high-stakes, invitation-only Las Vegas poker game. The couple claims they were told the money was secure and returnable at any time, but that the Blanchettes instead removed the money from safekeeping and used it for a spree of high-end shopping, purchasing real estate and various luxury items while misleading the couple about the whereabouts of their funds.

A Texas judge granted a temporary restraining order against Blanchette Press and the family members in early October, forbidding the accused from spending more than $500 without court approval as well as from selling, mortgaging or transferring any of the assets alleged to have been accumulated from the $8.5 million.

According to Kim Blanchette, business at Blanchette Press has carried on as usual with no interruptions. PrintCAN will have more on this story as it unfolds.
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