Small Farmer’s Journal/Ron Wilson
At least one target of the court appointed receiver in the Ron Wilson case has asked for the court to excuse it from those efforts to retrieve whatever portion of Wilson’s ill-gotten gains that can be located and recouped.
Small Farmer’s Journal is an agricultural publication, established in 1976. According to its response to a court order to show cause why the publication should not have to return monies it received from Wilson. According to the court documents, the amount SFJ received from Wilson was $600,000.
Wilson was a long time subscriber and often placed advertisements in the publication for his Live Oaks Farm. Wilson has long been known for his interest in sustainable farming. His daughter, Alison Schaum, was hired as a special agriculture consultant by the county.
Her receiving a three year contract from then administrator Joey Preston just weeks before Wilson presented Preston with a severance package worth more than a million dollars was a key factor in several lawsuits and a grand jury investigation.
The response goes on to say that in 2009 SFJ president and editor Lynn Miller and Wilson discussed the possibility of Wilson purchasing some of SFJ’s stock. In November of that year, Wilson and his wife Cassie formally offered to purchase sixteen hundred sixty seven share. In January of 2010, the board of directors of SFJ agreed to the sale at a price of $30 per share, or just over $50,000.
The agreement also allowed for Wilson to purchase an additional 45,000 shares within the nest 24 months, at the same price. The price per share was determined by “pre-recession offers for the purchase of SFJ for amounts ranging from $5-$8 million, according to the court records.
From fall of 2009 through December of 2011, the Wilsons bought 20,000 shares, at a cost of $30 per share. According to the court records, those shares were purchased through Atlantic Bullion & Coin. That amount of stock also gave the Wilsons a 34% interest in the publication.
Lawyers for SFJ are seeking relief on the grounds that the publication provided value in exchange for any funds transferred and should therefore be protected from efforts to seize and liquidate the assets.
No ruling has been made at this time.