Committee: Boy Scouts Of America Violated Court Restrictions
The official Boy Scouts victims’ committee is requesting that a judge void a Tennessee Boy Scouts council’s real estate transfers, claiming the transfers violated court restrictions on transfers or sales of Boy Scouts of America (BSA) assets.
The committee sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Middle Tennessee Council in July, but did not receive a direct response.
“Instead, the BSA, acting on behalf of the Middle Tennessee Council, asserted that the transfer was proper — while simultaneously admitting that the BSA has an interest in the property,” attorneys wrote. “The BSA has refused to take any action in response to the Middle Tennessee Council’s actions despite numerous conversations with BSA’s counsel about transfers like these.”
The court filing claims the council transferred its Parish Reservation, Grimes Canoe Base, Latimer Reservation and Boxwell Reservation properties, along with its Nashville office building, into an irrevocable asset protection trust on July 1. A trust like this is usually established to protect assets from creditors. The committee thinks the council did this to shield its deposit account assets and cash.
Clay Bright, Tennessee’s transportation commissioner, is the trustee for the properties. He is the council’s vice president of properties
The victims committee claims the council is the subject of at least 35 sexual abuse lawsuits that have or will be filed. Committee attorneys allege the lawsuits show “what motivated the council to irrevocably transfer the assets for no consideration.”
The committee claims that BSA has a “reversionary interest” in local council properties under BSA bylaws and charters. BSA’s cash and property will be turned over to BSA after any lawsuits against the council are satisfied if a local council’s charter lapses or is revoked, under the organization’s rules. The committee claims that because of this, the transfers violated the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings’ automatic stay to halt collection activities and protect debtor assets.
“Despite having a self-admitted interest in the transferred properties, BSA has not taken any action to enforce the automatic stay and restore the estate’s property rights notwithstanding the tort claimants’ committee demands,” the filing says.
The Boy Scouts of America are based in Irving, Texas. The organization looked for bankruptcy protection in February in Delaware to try to halt hundreds of lawsuits and create a compensation fund for victims of Boy Scout sexual abuse.
Claims of Boy Scout sexual abuse must be filed by November 16 to be eligible for compensation through the BSA bankruptcy proceedings.