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Eric Xavier Lavarack

Male - 2006

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  • Name Eric Xavier Lavarack 
    Gender Male 
    Died 14 July 2006 
    • http://www.sunriseminerals.com/main/?newsReleases&3
      Eric Lavarack

      Vancouver, British Columbia, July 14, 2006 - Sunrise Minerals Inc. [TSXV:SUN] regrets to announce the passing of Mr. Eric Lavarack. Mr. Lavarack was most recently a director of Sunrise and formerly the President and CEO of the Company spearheading the successful re-structuring of Sunrise Minerals Inc. into a Latin American focused resource company.

      Mr. Lavarack enjoyed a highly successful career in the resource sector, spanning over 20 years. Starting as a senior Investor Relations manager, Eric became highly proficient in raising finance, structuring joint-ventures and managing exploration programs. While at Sunrise, Mr. Lavarack orchestrated the acquisition of the Baja, Mexico Projects, managed the initial technical exploration programs, as well as all of the corporate duties of an active CEO. His knowledge of Mexico and fluency in Spanish, in addition to his native French, gave Sunrise a significant advantage in the region.

      The board of directors and management of Sunrise Minerals wish to express their condolences to the Lavarack family. Eric's presence will be missed and his contributions to Sunrise and the greater mining community will be forever remembered.
      C L A S S A C T I O N R E P O R T E R
      Wednesday, February 9, 2000, Vol. 2, No. 28

      DELGRATIA MINING: Former Executives Claim Pressure Re Report on Salting
      Two former executives of scandal-ridden Vancouver company Delgratia
      Mining Corp. claim in court documents they were forced out of the
      company through the behind-the-scenes activities of Terry Alexander and
      Carlo Civelli, two men with long histories in the Vancouver market. In
      1999, the executives say, they came under extreme pressure from Mr.
      Alexander and Mr. Civelli to disregard engineering reports that
      determined Delgratia's earlier test results had been salted, and instead
      to publicize a new report that purported the firm had found gold on the
      Josh property in Nevada.

      The allegations arise from a lawsuit brought by Central Minera Corp.
      against the two men, Eric Xavier Lavarack, a former president and
      director of Delgratia, and David Rodger Manning, former vice-president
      of finance. Central Minera, the successor company to Delgratia, has
      accused two former executives of misappropriating $272,400 in company
      funds just before they stopped working for the company, a charge
      vigorously denied by both men.

      They say they were legally entitled to the money as severance for their
      being forced out. The company's statement of claim alleges the two
      executives made up the contracts that entitled them to the severance pay
      in their final days with the company.

      The case was launched in May of last year, but key details of the suit
      remained sealed at the request of the company until last week. The firm
      had claimed the two men were in possession of privileged and
      confidential information that should not be revealed. Mr. Manning and
      Mr. Lavarack challenged the sealing order, and portions of the case have
      now been opened to the public.

      Mr. Civelli and Central Minera are represented by Vancouver lawyer John
      Frank. He refused to comment on the case, other than to refer to the
      company's statement of claim for the $272,400. 'It's all in the
      pleadings. I really don't want to add anything to that. This matter will
      be dealt with by the courts, and that's the appropriate way to deal with
      it,' Mr. Frank said.

      Mr. Alexander is a Vancouver businessman who was fined $1.2-million last
      year by the B.C. Securities Commission and barred from the province's
      securities business for 20 years for his role in the Arakis Energy Corp.

      Mr. Civelli, a Swiss businessman, is described in court documents as
      spokesman for a group of unnamed European investors. He has a long
      history in financing Vancouver companies.

      The dispute between the former executives and Central Minera stems from
      the company's handling of the Delgratia salting scandal.

      In March, 1997, Delgratia's stock hit a high of $34.75 (US) on Nasdaq
      following the publication of strong drilling results from the Josh
      property. The stock then plummeted on revelations that drill samples had
      been salted -- or as the court documents sum up the engineering reports,
      'any [gold] detected had been introduced after drilling.'

      Charles Ager, then Delgratia's president, resigned and was replaced by
      Mr. Lavarack. A Delgratia news release later confirmed Mr. Ager's family
      trust beneficially owned half of Philgold Investments Inc., a company
      registered in the British Virgin Islands, which had sold Delgratia a
      stake in the Josh property.

      Shareholders launched a class action following the collapse. A tentative
      settlement was reached in the case in December, 1998. Plaintiffs would
      receive $ 500,000 and 2.5 million common shares in the company.

      Last February, Delgratia changed its name to Central Minera in a bid to
      move beyond the salting scandal. The company, delisted from Nasdaq in
      1997, now trades on the over-the-counter bulletin board.

      By 1999, it looked as if Central Minera could look forward to a more
      reputable future searching for gold in Mexico and Nicaragua. But,
      according to Mr. Manning's affidavit, Mr. Alexander and Mr. Civelli were
      keenly interested in the Josh site.

      As early as February, Mr. Manning states that Mr. Lavarack had been
      telephoned by Mr. Civelli and Mr. Alexander, who said that Mr. Ager was
      'finding gold in Nevada.' Mr. Manning then states that in March, Mr.
      Alexander talked of going to Nevada with 'top experts' to check out
      information that Mr. Ager was supposed to have regarding the property.

      According to Mr. Manning, the pressure really started in April. He
      claims Mr. Civelli phoned from Switzerland on April 8 to suggest Central
      Minera put off settling the class action lawsuit and hire an engineer
      from Saskatchewan to look into Mr. Ager's information.

      In what he describes as a business-like conversation, Mr. Manning
      reminded Mr. Civelli that previous engineering reports had confirmed
      there was no gold at Josh and the company had already publicly agreed to
      settle the class action.

      Mr. Manning says things grew tense the next day. Mr. Alexander entered
      Mr. Manning's office and demanded he hire the Saskatchewan engineer. Mr.
      Manning refused. 'We had worked hard to regain some credibility back for
      the company and it would be wiped out if we started working down there
      [in Nevada],' the affidavit states. Mr. Manning says Mr. Alexander
      became furious at his refusal, even though Mr. Alexander, who had once
      been a president and early promoter of Delgratia, was not a company
      officer or director at the time of the conversation. Mr. Manning says
      Mr. Alexander described himself in a subsequent phone call as the owner
      of one million shares of Central Minera, but said he had approached Mr.
      Manning as the 'go-between' for Swiss investors.

      Mr. Manning's conversation with Mr. Alexander was followed by another
      with Mr. Civelli. This time, the Swiss businessman was less civil. The
      affidavit states Mr. Civelli told Mr. Manning that his concerns were
      just 'bullshit' and that 'the Europeans' were not happy with the way the
      executives were running the company.

      Mr. Manning claims the pressure continued in subsequent communications.
      A draft report from the Saskatchewan engineer Lawrence Melis was
      prepared, though Mr. Manning claims that it contained 'no independent
      data.' Mr. Civelli wrote Mr. Manning a letter suggesting that if gold
      could be found at Josh, the class action lawsuit would be invalid.
      Again, Mr. Manning disagrees. 'This was not what the lawyers had told us
      -- the plaintiffs alleged disclosure issues against the company whether
      there was gold or not.'

      Things became more tense when Mr. Manning learned that a copy of the
      Melis report -- the one Mr. Manning chided for containing 'no
      independent data' -- was apparently leaked to one of the plaintiffs in
      the class action. Then, court documents state, Mr. Lavarack received a
      fax from Reinhard Siegrist, a company director with ties to Mr. Civelli,
      demanding the lawsuit settlement be halted and the Melis findings be

      On April 29, Mr. Manning and Mr. Lavarack spoke with Mr. Alexander by
      telephone. Mr. Lavarack had suggested that if any engineering firm was
      hired to take another look at Josh, it should be Strathcona Minerals,
      the same company that had produced the definitive analysis of the Bre-X
      samples. Mr. Alexander said Strathcona would be too expensive, but Mr.
      Lavarack countered that Strathcona would do the job for $100,000, which
      was the suggested budget.

      But Strathcona would not get anywhere near the Josh property. 'Terry
      Alexander said Ager won't allow them on the property and there might
      even be a tank guarding the gates,' the affidavit states.

      Things continued to boil at a meeting the next day with Mr. Civelli.
      According to Mr. Manning, Mr. Civelli attacked Mr. Lavarack for
      mismanaging the company -- so much so that Mr. Lavarack eventually said
      that he had had enough, got up and left the room.

      Central Minera claims Mr. Lavarack's exit from the meeting resulted in
      his immediate resignation. In court documents, Mr. Lavarack denies this
      and says he did not officially resign until May 3. Central Minera also
      claims Mr. Manning resigned on April 30, but Mr. Manning denies this and
      says he was fired or forced to resign by reason of duress on that date.

      Central Minera's statement of claim alleges the two executives had no
      right to take the money. It also says the men took computer equipment
      that belonged to the company and alleges the supposed employment
      contracts, under which Mr. Manning and Mr. Lavarack claim the money,
      were prepared by the executives in their final days at the firm.

      The company won an early round of the dispute. In May, it succeeded in
      obtaining a court ruling ordering the $272,400 be paid into court
      pending a resolution of the lawsuit. That order, along with most of the
      court documents, remained sealed until this week.

      The case continues, and more details are expected to be revealed as more
      court documents become available. (National Post (formerly The Financial
      Post), February 07, 2000)
    Person ID I10108  Houliston Family Tree
    Last Modified 12 September 2007 

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