Update: The GoFundMe campaign appears to have been taken offline Thursday afternoon. 

Previous story: A hydro employee who was blindsided by B.C.’s new foreign buyer tax has turned to crowdfunding in a desperate bid to cover the unexpected bill.

Hamed Ahmadi of Iran recently found himself faced with a wrenching choice: cough up $54,000 in extra property transfer taxes or forfeit an $18,000 deposit he put down on a Coquitlam condo months ago.

The latter option would also potentially put him at risk of being sued by the seller.

“I have no options. I cannot close the deal because I don’t have the money, and I cannot leave the deal because I’ll be sued for that. I’m just left high and dry, I don’t know what to do,” he told CTV News on Wednesday.

Ahmadi moved to Canada in 2012 to earn his PhD at the University of British Columbia, and became a BC Hydro employee immediately after graduation. He’s in the process of becoming a permanent resident, but under the province’s new tax he’s treated like any overseas buyer.

With no other apparent recourse, Ahmadi and his girlfriend set up a fundraiser on GoFundMe this week in the hopes of helping pay for the tax. There had been no donors as of Thursday afternoon.

“Thank you so much in advance for your time, prayers and financial support,” a post on the website reads.

The B.C. government has declined to speak to the specifics of Ahmadi’s case, telling CTV News only that people affected by the tax should seek legal advice.