Former City of Washington Court House council member Trent Dye answered Wednesday to a civil suit filed against him in court. Dye’s bankruptcy plan was cancelled Monday in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
Dye resigned from city council Dec. 14 after the civil suit was filed against him Nov. 30 alleging he owes his former employer $400,000 from a fraudulent scheme that went on for three-and-a-half years.
Dye’s civil litigation attorney had missed the Feb. 20 filing deadline to answer to the complaint in the Civil Division of the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas.
The attorney, John W. Judkins, said counsel had prepared an answer prior to the Feb. 20 deadline but the secretary had forgotten to drop it off with the clerk of courts. Judkins wrote that certain excuses are allowed by the Supreme Court: “Excusable neglect occurs when a mistake has been made, when someone has been carless [sic] or negligent.”
An answer was finally filed Wednesday.
In the answer, Dye admits that he was an employee at Paramount Freight Systems, LLC in Jeffersonville but denies that he was the one who perpetrated a scheme to defraud the company for over three-and-a-half-years.
He denies setting up a bank account for a fake recruiting company and denies creating, submitting, and approving over 280 invoices to Paramount on behalf of the fake recruiting company.
He denies that Paramount paid $400,000 to a fake recruiting company. He does admit that the funds were paid to the account, but said the account was not listed as the fake recruiting company. He admits he was the owner of the account mentioned in the complaint.
The answer concludes with the affirmative defense: “the injury which Plaintiff’s allegedly sustained and is subject of this complaint was caused by the negligence of a fellow servant and not by a lack of care or by willful or reckless conduct of the defendant.”
On Monday, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio entered an order granting dismissal of Dye’s Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing for failure to make payments to the bankruptcy plan. Dye’s bankruptcy was voluntarily filed close to six years ago on April 18, 2011.
Prior to the dismissal, Dye’s bankruptcy attorney, Karen E. Hamilton, told the court that she had been unable to reach Dye by phone or mail and so did not contest the order.
According to the bankruptcy filing, Dye’s creditor liabilities totaled more than $269,000.
Local creditors listed included the City of Washington Court House, Fayette County Treasurer, Fayette County Veterinary Hospital and Ralph the Tire Man in Washington Court House, for a combined total debt of $5,125.79.
According to the court filing, Dye stopped making complete payments on the bankruptcy plan near the end of last year. Dye’s attorney, Hamilton, said he had paid $237,601.99 toward the bankruptcy plan over the past five years.
It’s the third bankruptcy filing Dye has made in the court, according to records.
Tax information from the Fayette County Treasurer indicates that Dye is not currently delinquent in property taxes on his $234,000 home on Greensview Lane in Washington Court House.
Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton