Lindner son removed as estate rep (MO)

Boone County Associate Circuit Judge Deborah Daniels yesterday approved Jay Lindner’s request to resign as personal representative of the estate of his father, deceased developer Jose Lindner.

Since the developer behind Forum Development Group died in September 2010, more than $40 million in claims have piled up against his estate. Creditors have been wrangling over what estate representatives say is a small pile of money and questioning whether the estate lists all of the assets.

In July, Jay Lindner asked the court to allow him to resign as representative of the estate. Last month, Daniels delayed a decision on the matter and opposed a request by Lindner’s attorneys to hand off the complex estate case to the Boone County public administrator.

During a hearing yesterday morning, Daniels granted Jay Lindner’s request and approved the creditors’ request to appoint Bob Russell, an attorney and retired circuit court judge, as the new representative.

“Several people were considered and contacted because of their unique credentials and skills,” said William Powell, an attorney for the largest creditor, Sapp-Bristol Management Group. Russell is “the one that most of the creditors agreed would be appropriate.”

In an interview, Jay Lindner said the claims process has been “unfortunate.”

“The bottom line is we’ve still got creditors that are trying to take advantage of our dad’s death to get out of their financial obligations,” he said. “My getting out of the estate doesn’t bring our dad back to us.”

The creditor’s filing says Dale Doerhoff, a Jefferson City attorney and former Missouri Bar president, has agreed to serve as the attorney for the estate. It also says that John Vaclavek, an accountant at Williams-Keepers who specializes in searches for hidden assets, has agreed “to perform investigative and accounting services for the estate.”

“My sense of what’s contemplated is a fairly expansive, extensive investigation,” Powell said.

The initial inventory of the estate listed only $22,000 in “Missouri unclaimed property” and a 1971 Chevrolet Corvette. In July, an amended inventory was filed that returned some assets Jose Lindner passed on to sons Jay and Scott. Included are ownership stakes in 18 of the Lindner’s real estate interests.

Most of those assets are valued at $1,000, and they will likely be sold to pay a portion of the creditors’ claims. Jay Lindner argued that he could not serve as the estate’s representative because he would face a conflict of interest valuing the worth of business entities that he and his brother still own and control. Creditors question whether there are other assets not included in the estate.

Jay Lindner said he represented all the assets while he was estate representative and that “the reality is there’s nothing else there. … They can launch any sort of investigation they want, but unless there’s something to investigate, it’s immaterial,” he said, adding, “There are certain creditors that are purposely dragging his name through the mud to get out of financial obligations.”

Two claimants, plastic surgeons and former investors Matthew Concannon and Charles Puckett, have filed lawsuits accusing Jose Lindner of fraud and accounting malpractice. They allege in court filings that Lindner was their accountant and persuaded them to invest in a business venture by promising tax deductions they weren’t eligible for, and that he used their investments for other projects while further indebting the real estate they put money into. They are both liable for the debt of the company they invested in, and at least one bank has sued them to recover money from a loan in default.

Creditors’ attorneys also have questioned where the proceeds of a purported life insurance policy held by Jose Lindner went. Jay Lindner dismissed those questions.

“Life insurance is not a probate estate issue by any means,” he said. “If there is or was life insurance it has nothing to do with the private estate, and there’s Missouri case law that supports that.”

Attribution:

Lindner son removed as estate rep
An accountant is expected to investigate father’s assets.
Jacob Barker
September 17, 2011
Columbia Daily Tribune
http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2011/sep/17/lindner-son-removed-as-estate-rep/

Share
News