Johnelle Hunt Group Stakes Claim on Portion of Scooter Stuart Assets

Another party has entered the courtroom regarding a claim on assets seized from the late Little Rock banker Layton “Scooter” Stuart.

BHL Financing LLC, led by Johnelle Hunt, filed a claim for $15.2 million owed on three delinquent promissory notes.

Two of the notes allegedly are owed by Rivercity Energy Inc. for $354,844 and $10.2 million. These debts are associated with Stuart’s unsuccessful investment in a string of convenience store chains in central Arkansas.

The third debt allegedly is owed by Stuart, $4.6 million. This debt is linked with Stuart’s purchase of One Financial Corp. stock from J.B. Hunt. One Financial is the holding company for Little Rock’s One Bank & Trust.

The debts stem from a sales, settlement, refinancing and release agreement between Stuart and Hunt dated Oct. 31, 2002.

The agreement was the product of a lawsuit filed against Stuart by Hunt more than a decade ago. That dispute alleged, among other things, that Stuart had mismanaged One Financial and One Bank.

As part of the settlement, Stuart purchased Hunt’s 24.8 percent stake in One Financial for $5 million. This positioned Stuart to own nearly all of the holding company’s stock, save for a sliver of shares held by a few outside directors.

The settlement also included Stuart buying Hunt’s 25 percent stake in Rivercity Energy.

How will BHL’s filing affect an emergency petition to release $1.5 million for Stuart’s family? Uncertain.

You might recall the biggest asset seized by the government was a nearly $17.7 million life insurance payout in June, following Stuart’s death three months earlier.

One Bank officials and Richard Torti, trustee of the Stuart Family Trust, can’t even agree on how much the bank is owed for premium reimbursements for the life insurance policy.

By Torti’s count, just under $3.1 million of the insurance proceeds should go to One Bank. According to bank officials, the tally is nearly $3.5 million.

The trust, with Stuart’s wife and two children as the sole beneficiaries, was to be the recipient of the insurance payout.