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Court settles estate of Vancouver man who ran lottery ticket reselling firm

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Almost four years after his death, the $20 million estate of Vancouver businessman Randy Thiemer has finally been wrapped up in court.

Thiemer started a company named Can Win, which resold Canadian lottery tickets to foreigners.

He got the idea after seeing an ad in a Vancouver newspaper offering Irish Sweepstakes tickets.

"It started at his kitchen table and progressed to a $100-million-a-year business," recalled Vito Nardulli, who worked for almost 25 years for Thiemer and was former vice-president of operations of the company, C-W Agencies.

In the company's early days, Vancouver police officers who showed up at Can Win's offices, then located at 319 West Pender, found a bag of cash they were planning to seize.

"The bag was just sitting there while police were looking around," recalled Nardulli.

Thiemer whispered something to his business partner at the time, Ray Gin-netti, who quickly left the office, he said.

"Randy opened the window and dropped the bag out the window, and Ginnetti was waiting on the street below and caught it," Nardulli recalled.

"Back when I started, there were only four employees," he added.

C-W Agencies now employs about 250 people and is almost across the street from the police station on Cam-bie Street.

The operation also has a related company in Europe called the European Lottery Guild.

Nardulli eventually became vice-president of operations and was making $150,000 a year but was fired in 2009 after Thiemer's death.

He filed a wrongful dismissal suit, which remains unresolved; he is seeking more than $1 million, including profit sharing he claims he is owed.

Thiemer, who died Aug. 7, 2008, founded the company in 1981. He had bought out his former business partner, Ginnetti, for $5 million in 1989.

Ginnetti, a former Vancouver stock-broker who was friends with some Hells Angels members, was shot to death in 1990.

The man who arranged the $30,000 contract killing, a former Hells Angels enforcer named Roger Daggitt, was shot three times in the head in 1992 while having a beer in the Turf Hotel in Surrey.

A Montreal hitman was later convicted of Daggitt's murder.

"Randy was brilliant," Nardulli said. "He was also a workaholic. Sometimes he worked up to 20 hours a day."

He said the company had a few set-backs, including a decision by the B.C. government in 1993 that C-W Agencies and other lottery ticket resellers couldn't buy and sell B.C. lottery tickets.

"We stopped selling Canadian tickets altogether," Nardulli said. "The operation shifted to Europe."

The company opened offices in Lon-don, Liverpool and Amsterdam, which still exist today.

Another setback was a $500,000 fine imposed in 1999 by a U.S. Federal Court.

C-W Agencies pleaded guilty during the court proceedings in Seattle and Thiemer agreed to never again market lottery products to U.S. residents, and not participate for five years in any kind of marketing aimed at Americans through the mail or Internet.

"We stopped selling to Americans after that," Nardulli said.

C-W Agencies had about 3.5 million customers when he left the company.

Nardulli said the operations are a lot more automated now than the early days, when Thiemer employed people to stuff tickets in envelopes and get them to the post office and mailed before each lottery draw.

"Some days you would get 1,000 pieces of mail, but some days it was 10,000," Nardulli recalled. "He believed in a 24-hour turnaround."

He recalled Thiemer led the jet-set lifestyle and had a beautiful home in Shaughnessy, which was decorated with $100,000 Persian rugs, Japanese art and Asian jade.

Thiemer spent his final years travel-ling the world looking for a liver replacement, which never came.

He tried the U.S., then a private clinic in London, England, where he spent a year waiting. "He had a 5,000-square-foot apartment at Regent's Park," that cost about $35,000 a week.

Thiemer eventually got fed up waiting and returned home to Vancouver. A replacement liver was eventually found in Monterrey, Mexico for $1 million.

But by the time Thiemer flew to Mexico, he wasn't in good enough shape to survive the operation, his friend recalled. Thiemer died in Mexico.

The court judgment sorted out the complexities of Thiemer's bequests, which divided his $20-million estate into 16 parts and left a portion to his parents, Phil and Arlene Thiemer; his brother, Reid Phillip Thiemer; his sister, Denny Shelley Byers; his niece and three nephews.

He left $500,00 to his accountant, Brian Gardiner, and also bequeathed money to Doctors Without Borders.

The rest of his estate was left in a spousal trust to his common-law wife, Gigi Christine Schlappner, with the instruction to "maintain Christie according to her station in life and in the style to which she has been accustomed ..."

Thanks to lottoball for the tip.

Vancouver Sun

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11 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by rdgrnr.
Page 1 of 1
rdgrnr's avatar - walt
Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
United States
Member #73904
April 28, 2009
14903 Posts
Offline
Posted: May 7, 2012, 10:18 am - IP Logged

All the money in the world couldn't and didn't assuage the grief in that saga.


                                             
                     
                                         

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                   

"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                            --Edmund Burke

 

 

    maximumfun's avatar - Lottery-064.jpg

    United States
    Member #124621
    March 16, 2012
    1492 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: May 7, 2012, 2:27 pm - IP Logged

    Wow that story is messed up.  It would take several novels and many hundreds of pages of texts to unpack it properly.  20M - his way - is not worth it!


      United States
      Member #111446
      May 25, 2011
      6323 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: May 7, 2012, 4:46 pm - IP Logged

      What an inspirational story! Sun Smiley

       

      Maybe they could make a mini-series out of this.   Lurking    Perhaps a romantic     Lover     dark comedy called "Sleepless in Vancouver" 

      Casting would be easy. Thiemer could be played by any hard drinking schmuck, who's liver is pretty much in stage 4 Cirrhosis.

       

      Ginnetti, Daggitt and Nardulli should be cast by The Three    Stooges

       

      Gigi Christine Schlappner, would best be played by any one of Donald Trumps ex- wive's. Maybe Ivana? Hippy

        rdgrnr's avatar - walt
        Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
        United States
        Member #73904
        April 28, 2009
        14903 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: May 7, 2012, 5:16 pm - IP Logged

        What an inspirational story! Sun Smiley

         

        Maybe they could make a mini-series out of this.   Lurking    Perhaps a romantic     Lover     dark comedy called "Sleepless in Vancouver" 

        Casting would be easy. Thiemer could be played by any hard drinking schmuck, who's liver is pretty much in stage 4 Cirrhosis.

         

        Ginnetti, Daggitt and Nardulli should be cast by The Three    Stooges

         

        Gigi Christine Schlappner, would best be played by any one of Donald Trumps ex- wive's. Maybe Ivana? Hippy

        That would be discriminatory.

        To make it fair they should have a part for a "fabulous" housecleaner who cleans toilets by day and becomes the "Spandex Monster" at night on his bicycle.


                                                     
                             
                                                 

         

         

         

         

                                                                                                           

        "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                    --Edmund Burke

         

         


          United States
          Member #111446
          May 25, 2011
          6323 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: May 7, 2012, 5:24 pm - IP Logged

          That would be discriminatory.

          To make it fair they should have a part for a "fabulous" housecleaner who cleans toilets by day and becomes the "Spandex Monster" at night on his bicycle.

          Hey barbie,   Hippy  speak of the devil. I apologize in advance if I have interrupted your late afternoon drinking.     Cheers

          I think the stage 4 role was already cast, but you'd make an excellent stand in, when the poor guy passes out. Are you up for the challenge?  Banana

            rdgrnr's avatar - walt
            Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
            United States
            Member #73904
            April 28, 2009
            14903 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: May 7, 2012, 5:30 pm - IP Logged

            Hey barbie,   Hippy  speak of the devil. I apologize in advance if I have interrupted your late afternoon drinking.     Cheers

            I think the stage 4 role was already cast, but you'd make an excellent stand in, when the poor guy passes out. Are you up for the challenge?  Banana

            Hey McDoofus,

            How ya doin' numbnuts?

            How's the toilet cleanin' business treatin' ya?

            I hope you're washing your hands real good!

            Any real tough stains lately?


                                                         
                                 
                                                     

             

             

             

             

                                                                                                               

            "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                        --Edmund Burke

             

             


              United States
              Member #111446
              May 25, 2011
              6323 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: May 7, 2012, 5:40 pm - IP Logged

              Hey McDoofus,

              How ya doin' numbnuts?

              How's the toilet cleanin' business treatin' ya?

              I hope you're washing your hands real good!

              Any real tough stains lately?

              Well I'm gonna make this short and sweet barbie, as I know you'd just love to continue trading your grammar school lame lines all evening long.

               

              As mediabrat said so well a few nights ago, (noticed you didn't have the backbone to reply) Your just a miserable old man consumed with hate.

               

              I'll let you resume the drinking now,    Cheers    and by all means, continue posting to this last reply, as you will be only posting to yourself.   Yes Nod

                rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                United States
                Member #73904
                April 28, 2009
                14903 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: May 7, 2012, 5:46 pm - IP Logged

                Well I'm gonna make this short and sweet barbie, as I know you'd just love to continue trading your grammar school lame lines all evening long.

                 

                As mediabrat said so well a few nights ago, (noticed you didn't have the backbone to reply) Your just a miserable old man consumed with hate.

                 

                I'll let you resume the drinking now,    Cheers    and by all means, continue posting to this last reply, as you will be only posting to yourself.   Yes Nod

                Don't go away mad, McDoofus.

                Just go away.

                 

                But please be careful on the job!

                You don't want to be spreading diseases to anyone if you get someone's fecal matter (that's poo, mcdoofus) under your nails.

                WASH THOSE STUBBY LITTLE FINGERS, MISTER MAN!

                I'm serious, now get outta here ya knucklehead!


                                                             
                                     
                                                         

                 

                 

                 

                 

                                                                                                                   

                "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                            --Edmund Burke

                 

                 

                  dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                  Oklahoma
                  United States
                  Member #82391
                  November 12, 2009
                  5482 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: May 7, 2012, 7:24 pm - IP Logged

                  WOW!!!! Lurking

                  I Love Pink & Green 1908

                    maximumfun's avatar - Lottery-064.jpg

                    United States
                    Member #124621
                    March 16, 2012
                    1492 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: May 8, 2012, 2:57 am - IP Logged

                    WOW!!!! Lurking

                    ooOOoo DCF - did you get the popcorn with extra butter by chance?  and if yes, wanna share?  i have skittles...

                      rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                      Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                      United States
                      Member #73904
                      April 28, 2009
                      14903 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: May 8, 2012, 10:51 am - IP Logged

                      ooOOoo DCF - did you get the popcorn with extra butter by chance?  and if yes, wanna share?  i have skittles...

                      Hey max, I'll sit right between you and dallas and hold the popcorn... Thumbs UpLurking


                                                                   
                                           
                                                               

                       

                       

                       

                       

                                                                                                                         

                      "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                                  --Edmund Burke