Aspen Skiing Co. takes bankruptcy fight to appellate court
December 2, 2014
Next stop, the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Aspen Skiing Co., already on the losing end of two previous attempts to dismiss an ex-executive's bankruptcy, has filed paperwork indicating that it will extend the effort to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in California.
Skico has claimed that former employee Paul Cherrett, who was the company's senior vice president of hospitality from April 2007 to June 2011, has abused the bankruptcy system.
Cherrett and his wife, Colleen, did so by seeking Chapter 13 protection so they wouldn't have to pay back Skico for a $500,000 loan, Skico has argued. The loan was given to help the couple buy a condominium in Basalt. Skico is the largest unsecured creditor in the bankruptcy filing.
Skico failed to convince the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and then the U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the 9th Circuit, that the Cherretts' debt on the condo was personal. Both courts determined the debt was business-related so that the couple could relocate to Colorado from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Paul Cherrett also had contended that he viewed the condominium purchase as an investment opportunity.
A filing by Skico made Monday continues to make the same contentions, arguing that the Cherretts "have sufficient income ($381,002.52/year) to pay all debts in full in Chapter 13."
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Skico's recent filing was in response to a mediator questionnaire, which states its purpose "is to help the court's mediators provide the best possible mediation service in this case; it serves no other function."
The Cherrett couple filed for bankruptcy in August 2013 in California. Paul Cherrett left Skico in 2011 to work for Talisker Mountain Co. in Park City, Utah, for more money before eventually taking a job with Hilton in California in 2013, according to court papers.
Skico has declined to discuss the case with The Aspen Times.