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WTF Is 111 Private Club? Here's What To Know About The Plane Party Scandal's Organizer

Who is behind the now-infamous private club?

Contributing Writer
WTF Is 111 Private Club? Here's What To Know About The Plane Party Scandal's Organizer

A group of Quebec influencers and reality TV personalities made headlines this week as footage of them partying maskless while on a plane to Mexico, chartered by 111 Private Club, circulated online, leading to Sunwing, Air Transat and Air Canada refusing to fly them home.

The passengers — who Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a gang de sans-desseins (purposeless or clueless people) — face fines of up to $5,000 per offence and even jail time for air safety and public health violations, and both the airline as well as multiple federal government departments are investigating. Some of the passengers have also spoken out to tell their sides of the story, as has the flight's organizer: 111 Private Club.

In fact, since this story broke, 111 Private Club has been the name on everyone's lips. But what do we actually know about it?

What is 111 Private Club?

@111privateclub | Instagram

111 Private Club describes itself on Instagram as an "Exclusive Private Group," which is by invitation only. You even need to log in with an email and password or enter an invitation code to simply access the website.

According to an Instagram post, the club had 1,000 members as of early January. To join, it says you must ask someone who's already a member for an invite code or private message 111 Private Club on Instagram, and you must be at least 18 years old.

Another Instagram post shows some of the events the club has held recently: "Tulum Montreal" in September 2021, "Halloween (Part 1)" in October 2021 and — the reason for the flight that shook the nation — "New Year's Eve 2022 (Mexico)."

The New Year event in Tulum was advertised as an all-inclusive trip from December 30 to January 5 presented by 111 Private Club — complete with six nights at an all-inclusive hotel, an excursion day in Tulum, a private plane with a DJ and food, a Zamna Tulum new year's eve event with an open bar, an open bar nightclub outing in Cancun and transportation.

Who is James William Awad?

James William Awad is the man behind 111 Private Club and the organizer of the viral flight to Cancun. He's 28 years old and has lived both in Laval and on the Island of Montreal.

He owns a company called TripleOne Canada, headquartered in Montreal's Saint-Laurent borough, which bills itself as "the world's first decentralized company where users around the world work together to build and manage it." The website explains that users vote on projects and are rewarded, often via cryptocurrencies, based on their activity.

An Entrepreneur article says, "All TripleOne users serve as owners. On a monthly basis, they will each receive their payments according to the value added to the company. Whether it's contributing business ideas, fulfilling jobs related to the corresponding company and contributing to its growth."

On September 14, 2021, Awad tweeted that "tripleone will be the biggest company in the world."

But before he was James William Awad, he was known as Kevin Awad. Quebec's Directeur de l'état civil website confirms that Kevin Awad changed his name to James William Awad in July 2019.

The name change happened a few years after the Bureau de décision et de révision en valeurs mobilières, the province's financial markets tribunal, fined Awad for acting as a financial broker through his now-defunct company KJRVS Inc. without being registered as one. It also ordered that he shut down KJRVS's website and forbid him from "trading securities" other than his own.

"Kevin Awad is not registered with the AMF. Therefore, he cannot solicit or act as a broker for Quebec consumers to invest," warned the Autorité des marchés financiers, the regulatory and oversight body for Quebec's financial sector, in a press release dated June 17, 2015.

"Kevin Awad allegedly approached people through his Facebook page claiming to offer a unique investment system. On his company's webpage, investors could open an account that allowed them to submit stock proposals, determine the amount to invest during investment sessions, etc."

On January 7, Awad tweeted a response to the AMF situation. "I only tried to help my friends start investing in stocks," he said. "I had no money to fight them in court. I went to court alone..I had no voice. I was guilty by force.."

Awad's personal website, james.com, consists of several outbound links to various other websites — to TripleOne, to a fitness platform called Astrofit Gym that's described as a TripleOne Company, to a telecom company called Coconut, and to a restaurant called Crusty Crust located in Pointe-Claire.

Astrofit and Crusty Crust are also registered in Awad's name, according to the Quebec business registry.

Finally, there's a link to Awad's music pages. As a musical artist, he goes by the name "Senior." Senior has a million followers on Instagram and 21,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, having released several tracks and an album.

Awad also said on Twitter that he will publish a book in 2025.

This article's right-hand cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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