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Lawsuit filed over boys ranch’s asset transfer

15 plaintiffs among those who say they were abused

Attorneys for 15 former residents of Morning Star Boys’ Ranch who claim to have been sexually abused while at the south Spokane facility filed a separate lawsuit on Wednesday over the transfer of the ranch’s assets to a nonprofit foundation.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Spokane County Superior Court, accuses officers, directors and advisers of “a massive conspiracy to defraud the plaintiffs” by transferring more than $12 million in securities and $4 million in real estate from the ranch to the Morning Star Foundation. The new lawsuit also seeks to prevent future transfers.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys moved last week to delay the civil trial of the first sex abuse case, due to begin the first week of January, until they have time to depose ranch and foundation officials and directors about the transfers.

The chief executive officers of both the ranch and the foundation had not seen the lawsuit on Wednesday and declined to comment.

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