March 10, 2010 in Business

Bankrupt Coeur d’Alene company’s officers face suits

Trustee calls Apply 2 Save ‘sham,’ seeks repayments
By The Spokesman-Review
 
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The trustee for a bankrupt Coeur d’Alene mortgage modification company is suing nine former officers for as much as $1.3 million he says they did not earn.

Apply 2 Save Inc. closed its doors last May, and filed for liquidation in June. The company allegedly ripped off hundreds of consumers who paid as much as $1,500 for help staving off foreclosure.

Few got the help they paid for. Many lost their homes.

Dozens of employees, many with debt issues of their own, were not paid for their last weeks of work.

“The whole thing was a complete sham from start to finish,” said Ford Elsaesser, the Sandpoint attorney leading the effort to sort out Apply 2 Save’s affairs.

He estimated the company received $9 million in revenues during its one-year existence. Slightly more than $1.3 million went to nine officers, some unqualified for the positions they held, or were overpaid for the work they did, and all of whom he said did nothing to protect the consumers they were supposed to be assisting.

Elsaesser Tuesday asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Coeur d’Alene to order the officials to account for the money they received, surrender money obtained improperly, and to impose liens to prevent “unjust enrichment.”

The defendants and the maximum sums they allegedly owe are: Steven Lux, senior vice president for sales, $331,647; Russell Ratshin, senior vice president for technology, $185,953; Jesse Daly, creative director, $170,460; and Colleen Damiano, senior vice president for human resources, $158,147.

Also, Marc Bonanni, legal counsel, $157,137; Joe Doyle, senior vice president of marketing and business development, $137,030; Richard Dawley, director of retail, $79,487; David Shaidell, network administrator, $71,608; and Enrique Garibay, vice president of software development, $69,913.

Former President Derek Oberholtzer, who filed a separate bankruptcy, was not among those sued, but Elsaesser said more litigation may be filed.


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