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Monday, March 3, 2014

SHAKE THE MONEY TREE: Robert Buckhannon's Bankruptcy Trustee Announces Asset Recovery & Distribution; Miss Fortune Reveals The Shell Company Buckhannon Fiance Established In Colorado

If it sounds too good to be true, someone's going to get arrested.

Battle Creek’s Robert Buckhannon, one of the four managing members of two now-defunct hedge funds, Arcanum Equity Fund, LLC and Vestium Equity Fund, LLC, apparently has some assets.

Buckhannon filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on July 15, 2011 in Nevada, listing over $37,000,000 in debts, and was granted a discharge on December 6, 2013.

Miss Fortune has discovered that federal bankruptcy trustee, Brian D. Shapiro, notified Buckhannon’s creditors in January that they have until April 7 to file a claim.

Yes, the bankruptcy trustee for the man who helped conduct an offering fraud that raised $34 million from 101 investors throughout the U.S. and Canada has located some non-exempt assets and is making a distribution.

And although Buchannon’s bankruptcy filing painted a picture of a businessman in trouble, that didn’t stop the “crooked chiropractor” from playing a sophisticated financial shell game—fraudulently transferring ownership of a Las Vegas home he shared with former fiancé Marlena Michaels to avoid turning the sale proceeds over to the Bankruptcy Court.


At the time of his bankruptcy filing in 2011, Buckhannon listed the Las Vegas home at left, 1017 Windfair Village Street, in his Schedule D with a value of 285,000 and a the notation, “house is underwater, debtor is splitting from long time girlfriend who wishes to keep the house and debtor is moving on.” The home was owned by Gold Nutrition LLC, a Buckhannon shell corporation.

The property has quite a twisted history, sister.

The Clark County, Nevada property was originally transferred to Buckhannon and Michaels, as joint tenants, with a sale deed recorded on August, 23 2010. Buckhannon and Michaels then transferred the property to Gold by “Grant, Bargain & Sale Deed” on December, 22 2010.

On December 21, 2010, Gold borrowed $100,000 from Home Savers, Inc. and executed a deed of trust on December 21, 2010.

The Schedule D filed by Buckhannon along with his original bankruptcy petition showed the debt to Home Savers, Inc. (Home) as $110,000 and listed it as a “first mortgage.” The Schedule D also showed the debt to Health Management Group (HMG) at $318,000 and listed it as a “second mortgage”. 

Buckhannon’s bankruptcy listed the Windfair Village Street property with a value of $285,000 and total encumbrances of $428,000—no equity in the property.

In the months after Buckhannon’s filing, Shapiro was advised that an offer had been received to purchase the Windfair Village property for $288,000. But Buckhannon claimed an exemption for the home, disregarding the fact that he was not the owner of the property.

During Buckhannon’s first meeting of creditors, it was disclosed that the property was owned by Gold. Subsequent to the first meeting of creditors, Buckhannon filed amendments to his Schedules including an entry on Schedule B (13) where he listed the property as part of “an interest in a business”.

Shapiro did not file an objection to the claim of exemption relating to the property under the belief that the home was owned by Gold and no exemption existed.

However, Buckhannon filed a motion seeking approval of the sale of the property and claiming an entitlement to the proceeds of the sale. Buckhannon asserted that the only debt against the property is the claim of Home, taxes, and miscellaneous liens for utilities and services.

But Buckhannon’s motion did not list any money owed to HMG. Additionally, according to court records, Buckhannon provided his title company with a “full reconveyance from HMG” to be used for the closing of the property and attached a HUD-1 closing statement that did not list any money paid to HMG. The HUD-1 statement did have a proposed disbursement of $94,000 to Caesar’s, although Buckhannon subsequently filed a motion to avoid the Caesar’s lien.

Buckhannon alleged in his “motion to sell” court filing that Home had "violated state and federal law as part of the original transaction" for the loan to Gold. Based on Buckhannon’s allegations in his motion to sell filing, Shapiro investigated the allegations but was unable to determine that a proper basis existed to object to some, or all, of the claims of Home.

So, after months of legal back-and-forth, Shapiro filed an “adversary case” against Buckhannon on January 24, 2012.

Shapiro had been informed that unless the proposed sale of the Windfair Village Street home was approved by the court and the order delivered to the title company by January 30, 2012, the buyer would walk like Nancy Sinatra.

Shapiro’s action, filed to enable the sale and to obtain a court order allowing him to hold the proceeds of the sale pending the final determination of Buckhannon’s rights, alleged that Buckhannon had fraudulently transferred the home with the “intent to hinder, delay or defraud creditors”.

According to court filings, Buckhannon and Michaels agreed to have the funds held, they just wanted to keep the money and not pass it along to Shapiro.

The adversary case against Buckhannon was closed on May 23, 2013 with an “entry of default” filed against him by Shapiro.

Robert Buckhannon failed to plead or otherwise defend his case as required by law.

Oh, and the house?

It sold for $315,000 on September 26, 2012. 

And if you think the game of financial "hide the salami" was interesting, read this!


Miss Fortune has scoured Colorado's business entity database, and found an interesting entry: Desert Moon Investments LLC, located in Morrison, Colorado.

Desert Moon Investments LLC was formed on August 19, 2006 by Marlena Michaels, Buckhannon's former fiance (you know, the one with the $60,000 engagement ring that Rob's investors paid for!).

Quite an ingenious way to cover your tracks, right?

Miss Fortune wonders why Buckhannon, currently involved in an arson investigation and with no visible means of support, is not in federal prison like his known associates David Damante and Anthony Vasallo.

Maybe it is like my mother always said: if it sounds too good to be true, someone's going to get arrested.

1 comment:

  1. FYI: Your favorite Dr. was arrested by FBI at a Coffee Bean in Las Vegas, Nevada at approximately 11:30 today.