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Report: Canadian government investigating development owned by Tampa Bay Lightning co-owner Len Barrie

TAMPA — The finances of a massive spa and housing development owned principally by Lightning co-owner Len Barrie is being investigated by the Canada Revenue Agency, that country's equivalent of the Internal Revenue Service, a newspaper report said.

Canada's Globe and Mail reported that Barrie's Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa in Victoria, British Columbia, is under scrutiny in light of a report by the company's former auditor, leaked to the Globe and Mail and the St. Petersburg Times, that accused management of misappropriating funds.

Scott Bye, a former member of Bear Mountain's executive committee, told the Times in September that he believed Barrie used some of those funds as part of his purchase of the Lightning.

Canada Revenue Agency spokesman Bradley Alvarez declined to comment on the agency's activities. Barrie declined to comment when asked whether his development was being investigated.

Barrie was more interested in talking about the rising fortunes of the Lightning, which entered Wednesday with five regulation losses, tied for the league low.

"If we could win a shootout, we'd be 14-5," he said, adding that he and co-owner Oren Koules continue to search for investors to either buy into the club or buy it outright.

St. Louis real estate developer Anthony Sansone Jr. is the only person who has acknowledged an ongoing interest.

"We're really happy with the team on the ice," Barrie said. "Oren and I are both looking at avenues to protect our investment."

BACK AGAIN: The whirlwind week continues for D Mike Lundin, who was recalled Tuesday from AHL Norfolk one day after getting sent down.

Lundin, whom coach Rick Tocchet said played well in Sunday's game against the Thrashers, was sent back and met up with Norfolk in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., late Monday. He was in the middle of practice Tuesday morning when coaches pulled him off the ice; he was coming back to Tampa and played Wednesday night in a tandem with Matt Walker.

"It's a lot of traveling, but exciting," Lundin said. "I was obviously hoping but not really expecting to get called up the first time. And so getting sent back down, I thought, 'Okay, I'll be back down for a while and hopefully I'll get a chance,' and I definitely wasn't expecting the very next day to be back on my way here."

FORWARD FOSTER: With a surplus of defensemen, Kurtis Foster played some forward Wednesday for the second straight game, on a line with C Zenon Konopka and W Stephane Veilleux. He has three points in his past three games. LW Todd Fedoruk was scratched.

"Obviously we need him for the power play," Tocchet said of Foster. "We just felt it's best to get him some shifts up front, so he stays warm."

INJURY UPDATE: Tocchet said D Mattias Ohlund, who missed his fifth straight game with a right ankle injury, is very close to returning; "He's day to day," Tocchet said. Tocchet also said D Matt Smaby, who also was scratched, will get in his first game next week.

Report: Canadian government investigating development owned by Tampa Bay Lightning co-owner Len Barrie 11/25/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 11:08pm]

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