Banks try to force Evans into Chapter 7; still searching for trust account
by Amy McCullough
Published: March 31,2010
Tags: Charles Evans Jr, Chris Evans, Evans, First State Bank, Jeff Rawlings, Madison County Chancery Court, Merchants & Farmers Bank, Mississippi, Mississippi Valley Title Insurance Company, mortgage fraud, Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, ponzi scheme, Rawlings & Macinnis, real estate
Creditors were informed on Monday that Charles would not show up for a deposition that was scheduled for Tuesday.
The parties have obtained information on Charles’ trust fund but can’t yet tell whether there is any money left.
A handful of banks and Chris Evans’ court-appointed trustee sued Charles Evans Jr. on March 23, filing an involuntary petition to force him into Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The motion was filed by Jeff Rawlings of Madison firm Rawlings & Macinnis on behalf of Merchants & Farmers Bank and First State Bank. A joinder was filed by Kristina Johnson of Jackson-based firm Watkins Ludlam Winter & Stennis on behalf of Holmes County Bank and Trust Company, State Bank & Trust Company and First Security Bank, as well as trustee Derek Henderson.
In bankruptcy court in January Henderson filed suit against Charles for legal malpractice, requesting judgments totaling several hundred million.
Chris Evans and his brother Charles Evans Jr. were accused in September of running a commercial real estate Ponzi scheme that has done $40 million in damages to more than 30 Mississippi banks. The brothers were sued by Mississippi Valley Title Insurance Company (MVT) in Madison County Chancery Court.
Charles Evans Jr. was an approved attorney of MVT and issued title insurance policies on behalf of the company.
Chris Evans and business entities under his control owned properties in Madison, Desoto and Harrison counties as well as in the state of Texas. Alleged fraudulent activities began as early as 2003.
Chris Evans filed for bankruptcy in October. Case proceedings have since been transferred to U.S Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Mississippi located in Jackson.
MVT alleges the Evans brothers repeatedly defrauded MVT and banks by using shell companies to borrow funds from lenders using various parcels of land as collateral, when the title to the collateral was not owned by the business entity obtaining the loan.
MVT has $30 million set aside for claims reserves, which is not enough to pay the 65 claims made by banks. The company’s parent, Old Republic National Title Insurance Company (ORNT), jointly issued all of the company’s policies. ORNT has several hundred million in claims reserves.
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