Searcy Dealership Accused of Fraud Hit With Another Judgment

Searcy Dealership Accused of Fraud Hit With Another Judgment

Remember the case we told you about last year in which a Wisconsin finance company accused a Searcy agricultural equipment dealership and its owner of taking more than $10 million “by fraud or pure theft?”

Well, the dealership, Venture Equipment LLC, and its owner, Steven Merritt, recently were hit with a $188,992 judgment in another case in Illinois.

BFG Corp. of Lake County, Illinois, as assignee of De Lage Landen Financial Services Inc., filed the suit against Venture Equipment and Merritt, alleging breach of contract and breach of personal guaranty for not paying for agricultural equipment that was financed. 

BFG filed a motion for summary judgment, and it was granted by U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman. He ruled that both defendants are equally responsible for the judgment.

Attorney Brian James Gipson of the Ashen Law Group of Chicago represented the plaintiff in the case. Attorney Timothy Steadman of Holleman & Associates of Little Rock represented the defendants. He didn’t immediately return a call for comment. 

Meanwhile, the case filed by CNH Industrial Capital America LLC against Venture Equipment and Merritt is moving forward in U.S. District Court in Little Rock. That case involved CNH’s allegation of fraud and that assets were missing. CNH’s attorneys are Charles Coleman and Jaimie Moss of Wright Lindsey & Jennings of Little Rock. The defendants are represented by attorneys Steadman and John Holleman. A bench trial in that case is set for Jan. 16 in Little Rock. 

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