IRS puts $1.4 billion liens on Brockman’s Aspen properties

Six liens filed Friday, four in Pitkin and two in Eagle, on Brockman and his properties

Three Aspen properties purportedly owned by Robert Brockman were hit with tax liens totaling more than $1.4 billion last week as part of the federal government’s tax fraud and evasion case against the Houston billionaire.

Liens of the identical amounts also were filed against Brockman individually in both Pitkin and Eagle counties Friday, according to public documents.

The six liens are all for personal income taxes the IRS contends Brockman owes for the periods ending 2004 through 2007, 2010, and 2012 through 2018. Brockman’s unpaid balances to the IRS range from $7.487 million in 2007 to $302.227 million in 2004, according to the liens.

“We have made a demand of payment for liability, but it remains unpaid,” said the liens. “Therefore, there is a lien in favor of the United States on all property and rights to property belonging to this taxpayer for the amount of $1,418,272,371.71 these taxes and additional penalties, interest, and costs that may accrue.”

Robert and Dorothy Brockman. Federal prosecutors have charged Robert Brockman, who owns property in Aspen and Pitkin County, in a $2 billion tax fraud.
AP File Photo

Brockman, 80, has pleaded not guilty to 39 federal charges that include wire fraud and money laundering as part of an alleged $2 billion tax scheme, the largest amount ever for a U.S. tax case, the government has said.

Brockman is the founder and former CEO of Dayton, Ohio-based Reynolds and Reynolds Co., which sells business software to auto dealerships. He is accused of hiding income he made on his investments in private equity funds from the IRS.

Defense attorneys contend Brockman is incompetent to stand trial because he strains to understand and retain information, possibly a symptom of Parkinson’s or a sort of dementia. That matter is pending before a federal court judge in Houston.

Brockman’s indictment, issued in October, referred to two of his local real estate acquisitions and said he was a resident of both Houston and Pitkin County.

More ripples were felt locally when the feds in March expanded their probe into Brockman with a U.S. Attorney’s Office’s civil forfeiture complaint, which was filed in an attempt to seize a 100-acre property in the upper Fryingpan River Valley. Even though the ranch is not owned directly under the name of Brockman, he is still the one who owns it, the complaint said.

“The property is titled in the name of Henke Property, LLC,” said the complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado in Denver. “Henke Property, LLC, on paper, is 100% owned by Henke Holdings, LLC. Both entities were formed in Colorado on September 7, 2005, at the direction of Brockman.”

That case is pending, and Brockman’s attorneys argued in a July pleading that Brockman has only leased the Fryingpan property — which is located at 121 Ash Road — but has no ownership in it.

The tax liens filed last week said Henke Holdings is an “alter ego” of Brockman’s. Likewise, they said other limited liability companies — which are the owners in title of the properties in question — are Brockman’s alter egos.

Meanwhile, last week’s liens were filed on the following Aspen properties, details of which are based on information from the Pitkin County Clerk & Recorder’s Office and the Pitkin County Assessor’s Office. All three properties are located on roads off Highway 82 leaving Aspen.

• The property at 10 Popcorn Lane is titled under Difficult LLC, based in Houston. The five-bedroom, four-bathroom home was built in the mid-2000s and remodeled in 2013. The Pitkin County Assessor’s Office gives the 4,271-square-foot property, which sits on 1.6 acres, an actual value of $9.117 million and an assessed value (the amount used to calculate property tax payments) of $651,870. Difficult LLC acquired the property for $5.26 million in March 2011, prior to the remodel.

• Under the ownership of Mountain Queen LLC in Aspen, 230 McFarlane Road also is located off Highway 82 toward Independence Pass. The 1987-built home has 5,811 square feet of habitable space. The assessor’s office gives it an actual value of $15.933 million and taxable value of $1.139 million.

• Down the road is 300 McFarlane Gulch Road, which is under the ownership of Henke Property of Aspen, which paid $4.6 million for the 12-acre property in September 2005. The land includes two cabins — a 2,977-square-foot residence with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and a 1,391-square-foot home, also with two bedrooms and two baths. Both wood-frames were built in 1975 and have a combined actual value of $4.096 million and an assessed value of $292,930.