Former grocery store owner Deon Dove's bankruptcy request has been denied by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court because of false information given by Dove to court officials.
A hearing on Dove's request was held Nov. 7. According to court documents, testimony given knowingly by Dove in earlier bankruptcy proceedings about his financial status and dealings was determined to be false. In an order given by Judge John H. Allen, Dove's request for discharge of his debts was denied for violations covered under Section 727 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.The denial means that Dove's debts are no longer protected by the court and creditors may file judgments against his estate. Many of Dove's secured creditors have already received proceeds from liquidation of his assets.
A court clerk said that Dove's denial of discharge is only the third in the past three years. More than 8,000 bankruptcy cases have been filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Utah this year.
R. Kimball, trustee for the creditors, appeared at the hearing as counsel for the plaintiff and no appearance was made in Dove's behalf. Notice of the denial was mailed to all creditors and interested parties on Nov. 13.
Dove, formerly of Springville, filed for business reorganization under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code in November 1988, claiming more than $20 million in assets and about $16 million in liabilities to more than 165 creditors. The court changed the filing to a Chapter 7 liquidation after discovering that Dove had grossly overestimated his assets and under-estimated his liabilities. Shortly afterward, his 12 rural stores were closed and liquidated.
Dove is currently serving a one-to-15-year term at the Utah State Prison for bilking the state out of $5.2 million in sales taxes. He was charged with 56 felony counts but pleaded guilty to eight counts in a plea arrangement. Before going to prison, Dove worked in his son-in-law's grocery store in Logandale, Nev.
According to court documents, Dove concealed, destroyed, mutilated, falsified and failed to keep records of his financial condition. He also failed to keep proper records relating to quarter horses which he owned.
In November 1988, Dove testified that his property schedules were correct when in fact several properties of his estate, registered quarter horses, belt buckles made of precious metals and valuable saddles, were omitted. He also failed to reveal that he had transferred some of his property to third parties and to members of his immediate family.
In December 1988, Dove testified that he had transferred ownership of a registered quarter horse named Impressive Dane to his brother for cash, that he had transferred less than 10 horses to his son-in-law and that he had not transferred any horses to other family members. The court found that Dove did not transfer Impressive Dane to his brother and that he had attempted to transfer horses to family members.
The court also found that Dove had failed to explain satisfactorily the deficiency and loss of his assets. Assets not accounted for include the $5 million in sales tax, cash proceeds removed from his business operations, and cash proceeds received from creditors and quarter horse sales.