Trustee Claims Developer Hid $20 Million Before Bankruptcy Filing
DENVER (AP) _ A court-appointed trustee contends former developer Bill Walters, whose bankruptcy last year left the government out millions of dollars, illegally transferred $20 million in personal property and cash to his wife.
Trustee R. Neil Rodgers last November sued Jacqueline Walters seeking the return of more than $6 million in assets transferred to her in order to help repay Walters’ creditors.
In an amended complaint filed Wednesday, Rodgers listed an additional $14 million in personal property and cash transferred to Walters’ wife.
Walters was a key figure in the collapse of Silverado Banking, Savings and Loan in December 1988. President Bush’s son Neil, a director of the failed Denver thrift, was investigated by banking regulators for failing to fully disclose his ties to Walters when he recommended approval of a $100 million loan.
Walters later defaulted on the federally insured loan. He now owes the government an estimated $196 million, but claims he is broke.
According to court documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Santa Ana, Calif., among the assets transferred were more than $2 million in art, furniture and antiques, $784,000 in cash, a 92.5 percent interest in a limited partnership valued at $7.6 million, and $250,000 spent on the Walters’ wedding in 1986.
Walters’ attorney, Nathan Jones, called the allegations ridiculous.
″The question is whether (Walters) was solvent at the time of these transfers, and I know that he was,″ Jones said. ″If he’s solvent, it’s not a fraudulent conveyance.″
Jones said the transfer of assets from Walters to his wife were legal under the terms of a prenuptial agreement signed in October 1986.
″(The prenuptial agreement) may have been fine between Bill Walters and his wife, but it certainly is not fine with respect to his creditors,″ said Ron Rus, an attorney for the bankruptcy trustee.
Walters’ financial statements showed that he had a net worth of $150 million after the transfer of the assets allowed by the prenuptial agreement, Jones said.