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BK Trustee Prevails On Indiana Fraudulent Transfer Claims

If you're looking for an illustration of Indiana's fraudulent transfer laws in action, pull out a pen and a notepad, set aside thirty minutes and study Judge Miller's opinion in Boyer v. Crown Stock Distribution, 2009 U.S. LEXIS 12393 (N.D. Ind. 2009) (.pdf).  The February 17, 2009 decision is too involved for me to summarize in a single post, or even two.  Nevertheless, the case is worth mentioning, in this abbreviated fashion, in the event readers are contemplating the pursuit of an Indiana fraudulent transfer claim.

Boyer is a forty-page opinion that dissects a $3.3MM sale of Crown Stock's assets.  Judge Miller, of Indiana's Northern District, affirms the bankruptcy court's October, 2006 decision, which avoided the transaction as fraudulent and required the defendant transferees to return the value of the property transferred.  The opinion discusses Indiana's Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (UFTA), including specifically Ind. Code 32-18-2-14 and 15.  The Court's analysis, in part, deals with whether the asset sale should have been treated as a leveraged buyout and collapsed.  In addition, the Court evaluates the good faith transferee defense found in I.C. 32-18-2-18(b).

When (if) you read the opinion, you'll see how fact sensitive the dispute is, as may often be the case with fraudulent transfer claims.  The litigation (a bankruptcy adversary proceeding), which began in March of 2004, resulted in a nine-day trial and an appeal to district court.  Part of the case involved the assessment of expert testimony and related issues.  It's my understanding Judge Miller's ruling is being appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The case is now in its sixth year.  One of the things that struck me while reading the decision was just how complicated, expensive and time consuming these UFTA matters can be.