The Garden Island
Former U.S. Financial Mortgage Corp. branch manager James Lull faced a room crowded with creditors Thursday as lawyers and a U.S. trustee picked over his personal finances and his relationship to the company, where he worked while generating more than $31 million in personal liabilities.
The Kapa‘a branch manager filed for personal bankruptcy in December, valuing his assets at a little more than $6.6 million and producing a growing list of creditors that now includes more than 40 names.
The case has drawn the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice, said Ronald K. Kotoshirodo, the Honolulu-based trustee.
“They are taking an interest,” he said.
About 25 creditors and their representatives attended Thursday’s meeting, the second portion of a question-and-answer session designed to help creditors understand Lull’s financial position.
Lull told creditors yesterday that he served both business and personal clients during his time at the Kapa‘a branch of USF.
He offered loans and investment opportunities to personal clients, while also making his own investments in property, opals and coins, he said.
A complex web of payments and transfers and loans became a financial juggling act to satisfy creditors, he said, and last summer he lost the ability to keep all of the balls in the air.
He lost his position at USF in October 2006 when the company became aware of several pending lawsuits related to his financial maneuvering, he said.
The complexity of those maneuvers has created a challenge for the trustee charged with creating an accurate picture of Lull’s finances, Kotoshirodo said, though he expressed a commitment to sorting the details.
“Nobody’s tossing up their hands,” he said. “We’re still at the very early stages.”
The Thursday session concluded the creditors’ meeting, but Lull will face additional — and more detailed — questioning from lawyers who file to take part in another question-and-answer session, Kotoshirodo said.
He advised creditors to seek counsel.
“I do not want to see these Kaua‘i residents lose their rights,” he said.