Wheels fall off at several local truck stops

Bloomfield Truck Stop. January 14, 2020. (Photo via Facebook)

It looks like the end of the road for a company that operates several truck stops and gas stations in southwestern Ontario.

Eagle Travel Plaza, which has truck stops and gas stations with convenience stores and restaurants in Chatham, Tilbury, Windsor, and Sarnia has gone into receivership. BDO Canada Limited has been named as one of the four custodians responsible for the property and assets of others, such as banks and fuel companies, because the company can’t meet its financial obligations.

Senior Vice President Chris Mazur told Blackburn News some business operations continue while accounts receivable are collected but BDO is in the process of selling various stations to recover as much money as possible owed to several stakeholders.

BDO documents showed Eagle Travel owes a total of $56 million to the CIBC ($22 million), Bank of Montreal ($20 million), and First Ontario Credit Union ($14 million). It also owes $18 million to dozens of unsecured creditors, including $11.6 million to Pilot Travel Centres, which operates dozens of Flying J truck stops in Ontario and the U.S.

Simranjit Dhillon, Mandhir Dhillon, Sarbjit Dhillon and Mandeep Dhillon are all named in the receivership documents.

BDO does not believe Eagle Travel Plaza’s internal financial records are complete or up-to-date.

“Based on discussions with senior management, it is understood there is no centralized internal reporting system to track the largest component of the business, namely the Eagle Fleet Services loyalty card program,” said BDO is a statement.

Eagle Fleet Services is a commercial gas fleet services finance card that has more than 1,250 customers.

“Eagle Fleet Services reporting has historically been generated manually on a monthly basis by one individual with external compilation of the records on a quarterly basis,” BDO added.

The Globe and Mail has reported the CIBC faces more than $50 million in potential losses because of alleged fraud at Eagle Travel Plaza. In a statement sent to Blackburn News, CIBC Senior Director of Communications and Public Affairs Tom Wallis said he can’t say much because the matter is before the courts and the judge has sealed the file.

“This matter involves a single counterparty and is not indicative of a broader issue,” he said. “We are unable to comment further as the matter is covered by a court-imposed sealing order.”

Blackburn News has discovered the Chatham truck stop at Bloomfield Road and Highway 401 still has the fuel pumps operating but the restaurants are closed. XTR Gas and Convenience in Sarnia is permanently closed. The receiver has not taken possession of the assets and operations at the Sarnia Service Centre in Wyoming.