One Bank Turns Attention to Scooter Stuart Life Insurance Payouts

Did you know leadership at One Bank & Trust has steered the Little Rock lender back to court in a new lawsuit connected with its former owner, Layton “Scooter” Stuart?

The Pulaski County Circuit case seeks to pierce the veil of several entities and have them declared to be alter egos of Stuart, who died in March 2013.

Perhaps the most significant is the Stuart Family 1997 Trusts, which have claim to $14.7 million remaining from a life insurance payout after Stuart’s death.

One Bank’s complaint alleges that Stuart exercised financial control over the trusts, which included improper borrowings against the life insurance policy.

The suit argues that since Stuart exercised individual control over the trusts, the insurance payout should be treated as his individual asset and subject to financial claims by One Bank.

Other entities targeted by the lawsuit include Rivercity Energy Co., controlled by Stuart and allegedly used to facilitate self-dealing with One Bank, and OneFinancial Corp., the holding company that was 99.9 percent owned by Stuart.

Among other things, OneFinancial was the conduit for TARP funds to flow from the U.S. Treasury to rebuild One Bank’s capital. Stuart allegedly diverted about $2.3 million of the $17.3 million in TARP money to repay the bank for funds he used for personal expenses.

Other named defendants are Stuart’s estate, Tom Whitehead, One Bank’s former chief financial officer who allegedly aided and was rewarded by Stuart’s alleged financial chicanery, and JAS Properties LLC, allegedly controlled by Whitehead and the conduit for $25,000 he allegedly received for helping Stuart.

One Bank previously filed an $18.8 million claim in federal court for money allegedly owed in connection with Stuart and his suspect dealings with the bank.

One Bank received $3 million in May as reimbursement for payments it made to keep Stuart’s life insurance policy in force. The reimbursement came from the insurance payout seized last year by the U.S. government.

Included in its new lawsuit in state court is a claim for an additional $472,520 the bank said it is owed in connection with life insurance premiums paid but unverified by John Hancock Life Insurance.

The U.S. government disputed that added amount as did Dick Torti, executor of Stuart’s estate and trustee of the insurance trusts.