BOISE, Idaho — Ammon Bundy, far right activist and former gubernatorial candidate, failed to appear at a deposition hearing for what has been a long and drawn-out battle over a lawsuit filed against him by St. Luke's Health System.
On May 9, St. Luke's attorney Erik Stidham filed a motion for a hearing. It states that Bundy is actively hiding assets to avoid paying legal fees, setting up "shell companies," and even sold his own home to one of his own companies.
"Bundy refused to pay the amount sanctioned. In turn a Writ of Execution was issued against Bundy on November 3, 2022 and a lien placed on his residence. In early December 2022, Bundy transferred ownership of his property located at 4615 Harvest Lane, Emmett, Idaho which required him to pay off his lien," the motion stated.
Bundy sold his own house back to himself by using "shell companies." These are companies that only exist on paper and usually are a kind of funnel for someone to move assets. These companies have no employees, produce nothing and are typically set up for a person to hide money.
The motion claims that Bundy, through a friend/associate Aaron Welling, owns two of these in Wyoming and Idaho, White Barn Enterprises LLC (the company he sold his house to) and Farmhouse Holdings LLC.
The declaration contained additional information on how Bundy is moving his money around -- and there is a lot of it. This all started with a lawsuit filed by St. Luke's Health System in May of 2022 against him.
It began with a "People's Rights Network" (owned by Bundy) days-long protest outside St. Luke's Boise in March of 2022, due to a child nicknamed "Baby Cyrus" being taken into custody by child protective services for health problems.
The protest caused the hospital to go on lockdown for hours on March 15, 2022, causing the hospital to deter their emergency services. St Luke's later filed a civil lawsuit against Bundy and his network for defamation after he posted about the hospital on his social media.
Paperwork was served to Bundy, the Gem County Sheriff then briefly refused to serve them anymore. The judge overseeing the case then issued a civil arrest warrant for Bundy to appear, but the warrant that has not yet been served.
Judge Lynn Norton then issued a default judgement against Bundy last month, again, because he hasn't shown up at all and ordered him to appear for a deposition to decide damages in this lawsuit.
Bundy has been absent in the legal proceedings but vocal on social media. He's continually had barbecues and parties at his house and no warrant has been served, nor has any arrest been made.
Yesterday's filing contain documents provided by "Prime Corporate Services" a Utah company which specializes in setting up businesses. The declaration states the company called Farmhouse holdings, LLC., was recently established under another recently established company called White Barn enterprises, LLC. Farmhouse is based in Wyoming, White Barn is based in Post Falls Idaho.
However, both companies show the manager as Aaron Welling.
White Barn Enterprises recently bought Bundy's 5-acre home in Emmett worth an estimated $1.2 million. Bundy is paying around $2600 in rent to live there and apparently hold long-term campout cook-outs.
Stidham claims Bundy sold his home because of the lien for failing to pay attorney's fees after not complying with a court order from the month before.
So, to get out from under the lien, Bundy transferred ownership of his Emmett property to White Barn Enterprises.
The declaration also contains emails from December that show Aaron Welling asking a representative of Prime Corporate Services about moving assets to White Barn Enterprises or Farmhouse Holdings.
The email states the Wyoming holding company is for anonymity and people can't see you as the member or your mailing address. That beneficial ownership means everything in the Wyoming company can be included in a trust and avoid probate.
Welling wrote in an email in December 13, 2022 to Prime Corporate Services that states; “I am sure you explained it to me but I can not [sic] recall and my office is ready to move all the existing assets for current business to new LLCs. Are we moving the assets to White Barn Enterprises or Farm House Holdings?”
Welling also owns Potters Construction in Emmett, which was recently organized under Farmhouse Holdings, the Wyoming company. Welling, whose name is on all three of these companies, also happens to be a good friend of Bundy's.
KTVB reached out to Bundy and asked him about this declaration, and whether he was familiar with White Barn Enterprises or Farmhouse Holdings or Potters Construction.
"I'm familiar with Potters Construction and White Barn because White Barn bought my house and Potters Construction is a company that does construction in Emmett, and I know the owner," Bundy said.
Bundy admitted that Welling was also the former treasurer for his campaign for governor, however, Bundy denied knowing anything about assets moving between either of the companies.
"It doesn't sound like it's anything illegitimate. I don't really know what he does with the assets, and I have no idea what he does with his business," Bundy said. "St. Luke's put a lien on my home and I paid the lien off and I sold it. It's just garbage, he had this company from what I understand, long before I ever had any trouble with my home or anything."
Yet, the registration filings for White Barn Enterprises in Post Falls and Farmhouse Holdings in Wyoming, were both established in July of 2022, two months after the lawsuit was filed by St. Luke's. Two months after Bundy decided he wasn't going to participate in the lawsuit in any way.
Bundy previously told KTVB and others he would lose more money fighting it.
Today's failure to appear at the deposition lead to another failure to comply filing.
Additionally, Bundy asked to move this lawsuit to a federal court, that motion has not yet been granted.
Bundy said he has offered St. Luke's everything he owns to pay for the lawsuit, which isn't much anymore.
Stidham has been clear this case is going forward and compelling Bundy to participate in a deposition is about pointing out the "grift of the people's rights network." Stidham said they want to bring to light how much Bundy and Rodriguez have made, and are now hiding, as "professional extremists and conflict entrepreneurs."
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