Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Mira Overseas Consulting v. Muse Family Ent. (Cal. Ct. App. - June 2, 2015)

"The Muse Parties are 20 investor entities that made loans to BTM Funding, Inc. (BTM), a company wholly owned by David T. Smith (David). In 2008, David used BTM to purchase a residence in Pacific Palisades, California (the property) for approximately $10 million. David had BTM take title to the property to hide it from his former wife during their contentious divorce proceedings. David married respondent Carmen Copple Silva (Carmen), who is also trustee of the Carmen Copple Silva Revocable Living Trust (trust). In November 2008, David caused to be executed a quitclaim deed which transferred the property from BTM to himself. On the same day, David signed a quitclaim deed transferring the property to Carmen. A year later, Carmen executed a quitclaim deed transferring the property from herself to her trust. None of these quitclaim deeds were recorded until 2009, after financial problems with BTM surfaced. Because David had listed the property as the primary asset of BTM, the effect of the quitclaim deeds was to render BTM insolvent.

Meanwhile, during the divorce proceedings, David’s former wife (whom he later remarried) [Me: !] claimed that he hid assets from her, including the property. She and David eventually settled the issue by having Mira, a British Virgin Islands entity, originally beneficially owned by David transferred to her."

With all those machinations, yeah, I can see why things could rapidly get confusing.

Fortunately, Justice Ashmann-Gerst sorts it all out.