Dawn Prosser Wants to Sell Seized $650,000 Sculpture

Oct. 30, 2007 — Dawn Prosser, wife of Jeffrey Prosser, former CEO of Innovative Communications Corp., has filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court saying the court-appointed trustee has no right to seize a $650,000 sculpture she says is hers, indicating she wants to sell it.
The bankruptcy case has "created significant financial hardship for Mrs. Prosser" and she needs to sell the piece "to fund essential life necessities," the brief says.
Earlier Stan Springel, the trustee, filed papers with the court seeking control of various pieces of artwork and jewelry, as well as three luxury cars. Springel said the items had been paid for by New ICC and should be protected as assets of the creditors. (See "Trustee: Prosser Bought $9 Million in Luxury Goods with ICC Funds.")
Lawyers for the Prossers filed motions objecting to both of the trustee's moves, saying "while the allegations are sufficiently inflammatory to justify tabloid headlines, they simply fall short of supporting any legal relief of the type sought by the application."
Dawn Prosser's motion, however, carried a conciliatory clause: "In large measure, Mrs. Prosser does not object to the relief sought in the application (to control the art and jewelry). Although Mrs. Prosser vigorously disputes the right of the trustee to claim certain of her assets … she is willing to comply with the vast majority of the relief sought …. Mrs. Prosser does, however, seek to sell one item listed (in the trustee's brief)."
The item in question is one of several for which insurance premiums were paid by New ICC. It is described on an insurance-company document used by Springel as "Four Blackamoors figures, two male and two female." The sculpture was listed as being worth $650,000; no artist was named and no additional description was made available.
Dawn Prosser's motion continued, "The excepted asset was purchased by Mrs. Prosser almost 10 years ago, as verified by the sworn statement from the seller of this item …."
Three other aspects of the case have come to light recently: an attempt by the trustee to shut down the legal activities of John Raynor, a long-time Prosser ally; the resignation of one of the neutral authorities in the case; and the publication of a new list of the 20 largest unsecured ICC creditors, including several V.I. names.
The trustee filed an objection with the court seeking to dismiss legal actions taken by Raynor, a resident of Prosser's home state, Nebraska. Raynor had filed on behalf of New ICC. Springel objected that since he, as trustee, fired the New ICC board of directors, Raynor had no legal right to intervene in the case. Raynor is one of three lawyers with what the trustee regards as questionable relations to their clients who have filed legal papers along lines apparently useful to Prosser. (See "Analysis: Prosser Bankruptcy Case Complicated by Disowned Lawyers.")
There are two court-appointed trustees in the bankruptcy case. In addition to Springel, who works with Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy law and Prosser's former corporate interests, there is John Ellis, a St. Croix resident, who was given the task of handling the Chapter 7 duties regarding Prosser's
personal assets. Ellis' one publicly reported task to date has been to set in motion the sale of a vacant lot belonging to Prosser, which is near the Prossers' residential complex on St. Croix.
Ellis had sought court permission to hire a law firm, but the firm withdrew and Ellis — saying he did not want to proceed without legal advice — resigned his position.
The third development was the publication by the trustee of a new list of the 20 largest unsecured creditors to New ICC. This list, by definition, does not include the major creditors, all of whom have secured claims of one kind or another, such as the Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative (Prosser's long-time bankers), the Greenlight Companies (one-time minority stockholders in another Prosser corporation), and the Pension Guarantee Corporation, a federal agency that has filed liens against Prosser corporations on behalf of prospective retirees from these companies.
Most of the names on the list are those of Prosser lawyers and mainland corporate interests, but others include — in order of the size of the debt — an unidentified arm of the U.S. Treasury in Ogden, Utah, for $729,443.72; Rothschild, the New York firm that had sought to find financing for Prosser ($307,590.77); John Raynor ($50,000); Prosser/ICC Foundation of St. Croix, also $50,000; David Oliver, Q.C., a London barrister presumably working on Prosser's case against Belize before the British Law Lords ($40,682.07); St. Croix Country Day School ($21,600); and Holland Redfield, long a Prosser employee and spokesman ($19,590.78). Springel fired Redfield at the same time he fired Prosser from his job as CEO of ICC.
The listing carried no information about the nature of any of these debts. "The trustee has only recently been appointed and is still in the process of gathering information regarding the debtor's operations … and may still not have access to all relevant information …," the document says.
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