Trustee Who Won Big Judgment Against Luken Asks Lifting Of Automatic Bankruptcy Stay

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Arkansas trustee who won a $47.4 million verdict against Chattanooga TV magnate Henry Luken is asking that the automatic stay of any proceedings against Luken Communications be lifted in Bankruptcy Court.

Randy Rice noted that a "barebones" bankruptcy was filed by Luken Communications electronically on Sunday - just two days after the verdict. He said it got in just ahead of the judge who presided over the Arkansas trial listing her findings of fact and final judgment in the case. He said she had planned to do so Monday or Tuesday.

With that judgment not yet of record, trustee Rice noted that the $47.4 million verdict was not listed among the top 20 Luken Communications creditor.

But he said the bankruptcy filing cited the verdict as the reason for bringing the action.

Trustee Rice said the verdict should be allowed consideration the in Luken Communications bankruptcy, saying it came after two and a half years of litigation.

He said the judge in the case had overruled numerous attempts to get the case thrown out.

The jury found that Mr. Luken was involved in a "fraudulent transfer" when he acquired the Retro Network from Equity Media for "the firesale price" of $18.5 million. Trustee Rice said that deal came one day after Mr. Luken stepped off the board of Equity Media, which later went bankrupt itself.

Trustee Rice said the Retro Network in January 2008 was valued at between $65.9 million and $155.6 million. He said in October 2006 it was valued at $80 million by the Holt firm.

He said the Luken payout was for approximately 23 percent of the value of RTN as determined by the valuation and approximately 12 percent of the high value of RTN.

He said RTN was designed to be a television network which would air “Prime Time all the Time”, airing round-the-clock programming, including long time classics and rarely seen older series, and would be similar to TV Land or Nickelodeon’s Nick at Night.

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