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Warrant issued for Charles Evans Jr.

A federal bankruptcy court judge has issued an arrest warrant for Charles Evans Jr. for failing to appear in court and failing to produce documents regarding his trust account, according to a court filing posted Friday.

Charles Evans Jr. and his brother Chris Evans have been charged with conducting a commercial real estate mortgage-stacking scheme that has done $40 million in damages to more than 30 Mississippi banks. Alleged illegal activity began as early as 2003. The first lawsuit in the case was filed in September 2009.

Technically, the warrant is not for Evan’s arrest but for his apprehension and detention in order to compel his compliance with a subpoeona and other court orders. Federal bankruptcy court judges handle civil matters and cannot issue arrest warrants for criminal violations. U.S. Marshals or other federal officers have been charged with the search for Charles Evans Jr.

Creditors in the Evans case are still trying to get information on any funds remaining in Charles Evans Jr.’s trust account. The parties have obtained some information but can’t yet tell whether there is any money left in the account. Charles has continued to stall the process, failing to appear in court at the end of March.

Judge Neil Olack has granted the trustee Derek Henderson’s request to question Charles’ wife, Gail Evans, regarding payments she received from her husband’s trust account.

Olack has also given the trustee permission to compel BankPlus to turn over complete files of the account.

The trustee and numerous banks have filed motions disagreeing over the process in which the trustee might sell off various parcels of land to produce income to pay off claims made by banks who are seeking to recover from loans that are in default.

The trustee has recommended Brian Estes of The Estes Group Inc. and Grubbs & Ellis/Sawyer Commercial as brokers for Madison County properties. Trey Sowell of Grubbs & Ellis/Memphis has been recommended for sales of DeSoto County properties.

A hearing is scheduled for June 7 at Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Mississippi in Jackson.

Case History

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.

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.

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.

MVT alleges the Evans brothers repeatedly defrauded MVT and banks by in a mortgage-stacking scheme. The brothers allegedly borrowed funds from lenders through shell companies, 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.

Related stories:

Evans-owned phone books still sit in Utah warehouse – Nov. 16, 2009

Confuse and Conquer – Dec. 7, 2009

MVT fights release of internal audit procedures – Jan. 1, 2010

Banks fight for title company inside info – Jan. 11, 2010

Land will be sold despite objections – Feb. 26, 2010


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About Amy McCullough