WAS THE AUCTION OF BRYCO ARMS' ASSETS FRAUDULENTLY FUNDED?
After Failed Attempt to Conceal Source of
Funds, Bank Records Prove Jennings' Money Funded Purchase
Brandon's Arms Calls for Fraud Investigation
Oakland, CA/Jacksonville, FL - New revelations surfaced this week about the funds used to purchase Bryco Arms assets out of federal bankruptcy court. Paul Jimenez, former Bryco plant manager, bought the company's assets for $510,000 on August 12, 2004 and plans to continue manufacturing pistols. Jimenez outbid Brandon's Arms, a non-profit organization which wanted to melt down the defective pistols and halt production.
Brandon's Arms and its founder, 17 year old quadriplegic accident victim Brandon Maxfield, had opposed the sale to Jimenez, claiming that Jimenez was a front for Bruce Jennings, who controlled Bryco, and his 2nd ex-wife, Janice Jennings, the president and sole shareholder of Bryco. Jennings and Jimenez denied any collusion before the sale.
Immediately following the auction, Brandon Maxfield issued subpoenas to discover the source of funds used to buy Bryco's assets. Bruce Jennings, Janice Jennings and Bryco Arms countered with court papers trying to block disclosure of the source of Jimenez's funds completely, claiming that the source of the funds was "irrelevant" and the sale was "final."
"We always suspected that Bryco/Jennings were fronting Mr. Jimenez, and that they had a large fund of money that has not been disclosed in bankruptcy," said Brandon's attorney, Richard Ruggieri. "Now over half a million dollars suddenly shows up, and we have Bryco and Bruce and Janice Jennings taking extreme measures to prevent anyone from finding out where Mr. Jimenez got 'his' money."
Critical documents were produced this week: Bank records confirm a wire transfer of $430,000 to Jimenez on the day of the auction from Shining Star Investments, LLC. Shining Star is a Texas company solely owned by Janice Jennings. Janice Jennings also filed for bankruptcy protection along with Bruce Jennings and Bryco Arms, but failed to disclose Shining Star in her bankruptcy schedules. She recently obtained a federal firearms license for Shining Star to begin selling pistols.
Bryco/Jennings filed for bankruptcy protection after a California court awarded Brandon Maxfield $23 million in damages stemming from an accident involving a defective Bryco gun. To date, Maxfield has not received any compensation from Bryco/Jennings. He led an unsuccessful effort to outbid Mr. Jimenez for Bryco Arms and to close it for good. Brandon's Arms will request that the judge presiding over the case launch a full investigation.
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