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Examiner in John Coleman's personal bankruptcy case seeks documents seized by the FBI

Friday, April 22, 2022, 2:18 pm News Flash Archive

Albert Altro, the court appointed Examiner in John Coleman's personal bankruptcy case, is seeking copies of the documents that the FBI seized from Express Grain and Mr. Coleman's home back on February 24.

To read our previous coverage of the FBI raid and the reasons behind it, see here: FBI raids Express Grain, John Coleman's home

The Examiner believes that copies of the seized documents are relevant to his investigation of Coleman's personal bankruptcy.

To that end, attorneys for the Examiner Albert Altro have filed a motion asking the bankruptcy court to clarify the scope of Mr. Altro's investigation in the matters surrounding Mr. Coleman's personal bankruptcy. The motion may be seen here: Examiner Motion for Clarification of Scope of Investigation

The Examiner's motion reads:

The Appointment Order [by the court] contemplates the Examiner conducting an "investigation pursuant to Section 1104(c) of [John Coleman], his assets, any and all payments made on behalf of [John Coleman] prepetition, and any other potential transfer of assets by [John Coleman] or on his behalf. Further, the examiner shall conduct an investigation as is appropriate considering the actions and conduct of [John Coleman] prepetition and postpetition."

The Examiner tried to obtain copies of the documents from Express Grain's CRO, Dennis Gerrard:

On April 6, 2022, the Examiner, via informal document requests, requested certain documents related to the Examiner's investigation from Dennis Gerrard, the Chief Restructuring Officer.... Mr. Gerrard informed that the Examiner's requests encompassing paper records from Express Grain Terminals, LLC would not be possible to accommodate in light of the FBI's seizure of those records.

So the Examiner next approached the US Attorney in charge of the investigation:

The Examiner has also been in contact with the office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi (the "USAO") in an attempt to obtain from the FBI and/or the USAO copies of the files seized by the FBI on February 24, 2022. The USAO has expressed its willingness to share copies of the files with the Examiner for purposes of his investigation in this case if the files are within the authority given to the Examiner by this Court and provided that it is approved by the United States Magistrate Judge who issued the search warrants.

Therefore, the Examiner is applying to the bankruptcy court for confirmation that the documents held by federal law enforcement authorities are indeed relevant to his investigation of the Coleman bankruptcy:

... the Examiner respectfully requests that the Court enter an order clarifying the scope of the Examiner's duties under the Appointment Order. Specifically, the Examiner requests that the Court confirm that information contained in documents seized by the FBI from John Coleman and Express Grain Terminals, LLC, including paper records maintained by John Coleman and Express Grain Terminals, LLC, are relevant to the Examiner's investigation of potential assets of and/or causes of action owned by John Coleman.

The Examiner notes that the bankruptcy code under which he was appointed provides that:

... an examiner ... is required to 'conduct such an investigation of the debtor as is appropriate, including an investigation of any allegations of fraud, dishonestly, incompetence, misconduct, mismanagement or irregularity in the management of the affairs of the debtor' by past or current management.

Therefore, the Examiner asks the court for:

entry of an order clarifying the Appointment Order and confirming that documents seized by the FBI from John Coleman and Express Grain Terminals, LLC are documents of the type that would be relevant to the Examiner's investigation in this case.

Mr. Coleman can file a reply or objection if he chooses to before the hearing on the Examiner's motion is held.


To read all our coverage of the Express Grain bankruptcy case, see here: Index of Express Grain articles


John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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