Granada's financial problems have tumbled its president, C. Dean Larsen, into a financial quagmire of overwhelming proportions.
Dozens of creditors have filed over $18 million in claims against the Salt Lake attorney personally. Another $48 million in claims have been filed by some 1,000 creditors against Larsen's company, Granada Inc. (See accompanying story.)Larsen, 186 Dorchester Lane, took out personal bankruptcy in the spring of 1987, a few months after his company, Granada Inc., went bankrupt.
When Larsen filed for bankruptcy, he reported that he owed money to 967 creditors. That list was later amended by his attorney to 862 creditors.
At the time, Larsen reported to the court that he had a little over a million in personal assets. He estimated his debts to be $1.1 million.
The estimate seems pathetically optimistic in light of the growing mountain of claims filed against him. A stream of creditors has filed claims against Larsen in the 18 months since he went bankrupt, hoping for access to any assets he may have. The stream of creditors has not stopped.
The list of claims currently totals over $18 million.
The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a claim of $7.6 million against Larsen, claiming that he violated Sec. 404 of the 1974 Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
The claim seeks restitution to over 25 retirement plans covered by ERISA.
The second largest creditor, Sears Savings Bank, filed a claim of $7 million against Larsen for a loan it claims to have made to Granada Inc.
Another 35 claims were filed by doctors or representatives of retirement plans who hold Larsen responsible for the millions of dollars they lost in Granada.
Most of the retirement plans and retirement trusts appear to belong to employees of doctors' offices or medical clinics. Almost all of them are in Utah.
Foothill Financial - the troubled institution that closed briefly after a run on the bank in 1987 and was later sold to Zions - has filed claims totaling $661,000 against Larsen.
Getting money from Larsen may be like wringing blood from the proverbial turnip. In the last financial statement he filed with the court, Larsen listed cash assets of only $50. He also told the court that he didn't think any assets would be available for distribution to his creditors.
Larsen is apparently the focus of a criminal investigation by the Utah attorney general's office. While court records make reference to the investigation, Chief Deputy Attorney General Paul Warner refused to comment on it.
However, Larsen has retained an attorney, Larry Keller, to represent him against any possible charges.
Keller, in a prepared statement, said Friday that Larsen was innocent of any wrongdoing.
"If he is charged with criminal offenses, he is entitled to the presumption of innocence by the public and the media. The outrageous allegations being made at this time are inaccurate, unjust and unfair," he said.
Keller declined to answer questions about the case.
Larsen's woes have already spilled over into 3rd District Court. He has been named as either the sole defendant or a co-defendant in over 20 civil lawsuits, according to court records.
Specified claims against him in the civil suits total $3.5 million. Many of the suits do not list an amount, seeking instead "unspecified recoveries and damages."
Larsen is a 1965 graduate of the University of Utah Law School. In June of 1971 he went into the real estate development business.
Larsen ran unsuccessfully for the Utah Legislature in 1974.