Cauley Asks for More Time to Raise Restitution

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

"We believe the bank stock will more than cover the individual judgment, and the stock is not due to come out of escrow until January," Bird said. "We'll just bolster our position and make sure we have a good position at the table when all this starts to unfold."

The First Tennessee litigation has added another layer of complexity to the collection efforts as Cauley's money troubles mount.

"This thing is a mess now," said Will Bond, a Little Rock lawyer representing the Johnson family.

Hovering above the fray is a lawsuit filed against Cauley by Seiz Sign Co. of Hot Springs. The company claims Cauley breached a 2006 agreement to buy the firm for $8.75 million.

The lawsuit is seeking $5 million in damages after Cauley allegedly tried to change the deal to buy the billboard side of the business for only $4.5 million.

"We're just kind of standing by waiting and watching before we spend any more time or money on it," said Bud Cummins, attorney for Seiz. "Time will provide some indicators if Mr. Cauley would be able to meet any additional liabilities or not. If it turns out that Mr. Cauley is insolvent, there's no point in going forward."

Back in June, Cauley got permission from prosecutors to travel to Dallas to consult with a bankruptcy attorney. Last week, according to a letter to the court from his lawyer, he was back in Dallas again.

His mission wasn't specified this time. But the letter did say that he was staying at the Four Seasons Resort & Club - where, according to its Web site, room rates start at $355 per night.

The Property Securing Cauley's Freedom

Gene Cauley chose about 460 undeveloped acres in west Pulaski County when it came time to put up $3 million worth of real estate to help post bond earlier this year.

The block of land, about a mile north of Lake Maumelle, is divided into four tracts used to secure debt totaling about $6.8 million. If Cauley has $3 million of equity in the property, that means the land is worth at least $21,300 per acre.

The land was assembled in four transactions with Cauley's SEC WLR Holdings II LLC buying the property from 2610 Acres LLC, a company associated with Cauley and upscale homebuilder Rick Ferguson of Little Rock.



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