$400,000 donated by former Board of Trustees member under investigation

David Sharpe alleged to have mismanaged a total of $20.2 million

The Ontario Securities Commission’s investigation into Sharpe is ongoing.
David Sharpe, Law ’95, resigned from Queen’s Board of Trustees and as chair of the Queen’s Law Dean’s Council in 2021. 
Sharpe is currently under investigation by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) for fraud in relation to his company Bridging Finance.
According to the OSC, Bridging Finance mismanaged funds and failed to disclose conflicts of interest.
A court document obtained by The Journal shows Sharpe is alleged to have mismanaged a total of $20.2 million. 
In said court document, PWC, Bridging Finance’s court-appointed receiver, found a portion of the $9.3 million was “withdrawn in cash or used to make payment to third parties”—part of these funds were given to Queen’s University. 
Sharpe gifted Queen’s Faculty of Law $150,000 to support Indigenous JD students between 2017 and 2018.
In 2019, he donated $250,000 to the Faculty of Law to fund the Indigenous Knowledge Initiative.
The Journal reached out to Melissa McKewn, Sharpe’s lawyer, for comment, but didn’t receive a response in time for publication. 
In an email sent to The Journal, Julie Brown, Queen’s media and relations officer, said the University follows all established philanthropic, governance, and reporting practices in accordance with Queen’s University’s Gift Acceptance Policy.
According to Queen’s gift policy, donations and gifts aim to fulfill the institution’s mission of “teaching, research, and community service.”
The policy states the university holds itself to the highest standard of “ethical conduct.”
“Queen’s University values and will protect its integrity, autonomy and academic freedom, and will not accept gifts when a condition of such acceptance would compromise these fundamental principles,” the policy states. 
Funds donated by Sharpe have been frozen pending the outcomes of ongoing legal matters. 
According to Brown, the University is cognizant of the importance of the initiatives impacted by these frozen funds.
“Queen’s remains committed to the Indigenous Professorship and support for Indigenous students to which funds were directed and has taken steps to ensure those initiatives will continue with no impact to faculty or students,” Brown wrote. 

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