CRESTONE— The owners of White Eagle Enterprises LLC have filed a complaint with the Saguache County Sheriff’s Office alleging that William Alder Lakish, who claimed an actual interest in their property, made a false e-filing with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.
In a statement made to Saguache Undersheriff Jim McCloskey on Oct. 26, two members of the existing LLC, Brian Kramer and Julie O’Halloran denied ever giving Lakish permission to place himself on their LLC as a registered agent. A third member of the LLC, Brian Hendry, later contacted McCloskey to inform him he also was still a member in good standing with the group and had not and could not relinquish his interest without the approval of the other two members.
Records checked by McCloskey showed that the LLC was formed in August 2011 with Hendry, Kramer and O’Halloran as the principals. The deed was filed with the Saguache County Clerk and Recorder that same month.
In his report, McCloskey stated Lakish filed as a “registered agent” for the White Eagle LLC May 11, 2017 without permission of the owners. The Secretary of State’s Office told McCloskey that one could e-file fraudulently by simply providing a name and address.
On May 2, meeting minutes show Lakish had approached Saguache County Commissioners during a regular meeting to request that he take over the property since he had seen it on the tax rolls. He asked for a completer or partial “tax forgiveness” and told the BOCC he intended to use grant money from the governor’s office to open a movie studio. He noted at that time that the property had been condemned.
County Attorney Ben Gibbons said the tax forgiveness couldn’t be contemplated because “other entities owed money on the tax bill.” After Lakish put forth some other unorthodox proposals, Commissioner Ken Anderson suggested any decision be postponed until the June meeting and Gibbons said they would consider the matter.
Lakish was back at the May 16 meeting to notify commissioners he had become the new registered agent for the White Eagle Lodge on the Secretary of State’s website and was moving ahead with his projects. Gibbons said he had researched options for him and they could waive interest on the taxes but could not offer him a loan, only a two-year tax abatement. He told Lakish he could try setting up payments on the taxes with County Treasurer Trujillo, but that any arrangements would be totally at her discretion.
Writing from information provided by the Saguache County Treasurer’s Office, the Center Post-Dispatch reported in its Sept. 28 issue that Lakish, a Crestone resident, was included in a trust that named him part owner of the property. Unknown at the time was that the May e-filing on the Secretary of State’s website falsely showed Lakish as representing the LLC.
Trujillo said her office worked out a deal with him July 10 on the $78,523.39 back taxes and drew up a tax lien payment agreement. Records show Lakish made only one payment on the property, voiding his agreement with the county. McCloskey noted in his report that Lakish “fraudulently represented himself to the Secretary of State as a registered agent, the Saguache commissioners, the county treasurer and also the U.S. Postal Service,” because he moved the mailing address so the true owners of the property could not receive correspondence.
Two prior mortgages exist on the property — one for $247,500 and another for $21,000. After the property suffered extensive flood damage, co-owner Julie O’Hallaron said Monday, the state red-flagged it and told the owners they could no longer remodel, fix or repair the lodge and must close for business. It was then condemned.
When McCloskey questioned Lakish after the complaint was filed, Lakish told him he was living “inside the lodge.” Lakish told McCloskey that no one owns the lodge and no one was doing anything with it so he switched the LLC with the Secretary of State. When McCloskey asked him who gave him permission to make the change, Lakish said “nobody.”
According to Lakish, he had no documents to reflect permission for any change, saying it was done on a handshake — that Kramer agreed to let him “manage the building,” so he thought that gave him the right to change the LLC. Eventually Lakish did admit to McCloskey he had no right to jump into the LLC.
O’Halloran said that the laws governing LLCs forbid any of the partners from relinquishing control unless two-thirds of the group agree. Any change to the LLC must be in writing, she added. O’Halloran denied that Lakish had received permission from Kramer to do anything but possibly apply to pay back taxes.
Possible violations that apply to the matter are listed below.
COLORADO REVISED STATUTES 18-5-901. Definitions:
(3) To “falsely alter” a written instrument or financial device means to change a written instrument or financial device without the authority of anyone entitled to grant such authority, whether it be in complete or incomplete form, by means of erasure, obliteration, deletion, insertion of new matter, transposition of matter, or any other means, so that the written instrument or financial device in its thus altered form falsely appears or purports to be in all respects an authentic creation of or fully authorized by its ostensible maker.
C.R.S. 18-5-114 (2017) 18-5-114. Offering a false instrument for recording
(1) A person commits offering a false instrument for recording in the first degree if, knowing that a written instrument relating to or affecting real or personal property or directly affecting contractual relationships contains a material false statement or material false information, and with intent to defraud, he presents or offers it to a public office or a public employee, with the knowledge or belief that it will be registered, filed, or recorded or become a part of the records of that public office or public employee.
C.R.S. 18-8-501 (2017) 18-8-501. Definitions
The definitions in sections 18-8-101 and 18-8-301 are applicable to this part 5, and, in addition to those definitions:
(1) “Materially false statement” means any false statement, regardless of its admissibility under the rules of evidence, which could have affected the course or outcome of an official proceeding, or the action or decision of a public servant, or the performance of a governmental function.
McCloskey filed the complaint with the District Attorney’s office in Alamosa Monday for consideration. He commented in his submission letter that he feels the case has “some civil overtones.”