Cauley Asks for More Time to Raise Restitution

by George Waldon  on Monday, Oct. 5, 2009 12:00 am  

"We hope Gene can pay back the money, so our clients won't suffer," said one attorney involved with the Bisys Group settlement.

Further complicating his financial meltdown are lawsuits filed by banks seeking to collect on delinquent loans, both large and small.

  • First Tennessee Bank of Memphis is trying to recoup $3.39 million outstanding on a loan to Cauley's Coco Holdings I LLC, delinquent since March 31. A court-appointed trustee is now overseeing the operation of Coco and its related billboard investment entities.

The bank alleged that assets used to secure the loan were transferred without its consent. Cauley personally guaranteed the debt.

  • Capital Bank of Little Rock filed a foreclosure suit against Cauley on Aug. 27. First mortgage debt of $76,817 was secured by a 1,400-SF home in west Little Rock's Sandpiper Creek neighborhood.

According to court filings, Cauley paid off the mortgage in mid-September.

Although the debt was in Cauley's name, he had transferred ownership of the property to his mother, Carolyn Cauley. The transaction was dated Dec. 15, 2008, but wasn't filed of public record until March 26, 2009.

A second bad-debt claim by Capital Bank, on a $192,829 balance owed on a line of credit to Gene Cauley, remains active.

Plaintiff v. Defendant

Cauley is also on the hook for a personal judgment of $545,000 in connection with the July 2005 death of a 22-year-old employee of his billboard ventures. The family of Matt Johnson also landed a judgment of nearly $3.1 million against 10 billboard entities led by Cauley.

That May 21 judgment also made Billboard Acquisitions I LLC and Billboard Acquisitions VIII LLC liable for nearly $218,000 in legal fees and costs incurred by First Electric Cooperative Corp.

First Electric was sucked into the litigation, but a Saline County jury found the power company had zero responsibility for Johnson's electrocution. Adding grist to the case: Cauley's Seco Outdoor Advertising Corp. didn't have the workers' compensation insurance it was supposed to have.

Allen Bird II, a Little Rock lawyer helping track down Cauley assets to collect on the judgment, has staked a claim on 32,147 shares of Home BancShares stock.

The shares, recently valued at more than $700,000, have been held in escrow as part of an earn-out provision since Centennial Bank was acquired by HBI.



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