Richard Torti Fights Layton Stuart Battle on Two Legal Fronts, County and Federal

by George Waldon  on Monday, Nov. 11, 2013 12:00 am  

The legal bills and costs associated with the fight over the seized assets continue to mount amid talk of a global settlement. Such a settlement won’t happen if the Stuart family trust doesn’t receive some of the cash, according to Torti.

“At some point, there will be a disbursement of funds, with or without everyone’s agreement,” Pavlas said. “We would like to have something accomplished by the end of the year.”

Six months ago, a deal was in place for One Bank to receive more than $3 million from the seized assets. The money represented premium payments the bank made on Stuart’s life insurance policy.

The deal fell apart when Torti and Pavlas couldn’t find agreement when questions arose about a $500,000 line item in the flow of money between the bank and John Hancock Life.

“All I asked for was to go to a mediator to determine what this is,” Torti said. “I didn’t mind paying them any premiums owed. I just wanted documentation. It just went to hell after that.”

“We tried to deal with the trustee in good faith right from the very beginning,” Pavlas said. “It’s my job to get capital back in the bank. That’s what it’s really all about.”

Big Three Claimants

One Bank recently filed a second amended and restated claim of $18.8 million against the cash and assets seized by federal agents. (See Alleged Money Diversions at the end of this article.)

The revised claim has slight changes in the line items that totaled more than $14.3 million in September.

In addition to the bank and Stuart’s family, two other parties will have to sign off on any global settlement involving the seized assets.

BHL Financing LLC, led by Johnelle Hunt, is owed $4.6 million on a purchase of OneFinancial Corp. shares. The debt dates back to Oct. 31, 2002, and stems from Stuart’s purchase of the Hunt family’s remaining 24.8 percent stake in the holding company.

BHL Financing has additional claims on two other delinquent promissory notes totaling $10.5 million owed by Stuart’s Rivercity Energy Inc. These debts also are secured by his OneFinancial stock.



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