Lawsuits, liens, and asset filings: Alice Rogoff bankruptcy continues - Must Read Alaska
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Lawsuits, liens, and asset filings: Alice Rogoff bankruptcy continues

 

 

LEGAL FILINGS POUR IN

The lawsuits and liens are flying around bankrupt publisher Alice Rogoff and the Alaska Dispatch News.

The company that owns the building where two printing presses of the Dispatch are lying dormant are now suing Dispatch owner Alice Rogoff because her contractors, which she has not paid, have put a lien on the building.

Arctic Partners, the owner of the property at 59th and Arctic Blvd, says Rogoff signed a 10-year lease on Nov. 1, 2016, for $43,577 per month, plus all utilities, costs and expenses associated with the lease. She hasn’t paid her rent for months.

In other court filings, it appears Rogoff owes over $21.4 million to various creditors, split about even between secured creditors like Northrim Bank, and unsecured creditors like M&M Wiring. The court bankruptcy trustee now believes Rogoff will not make good on her debts, and also writes of the confusion surrounding who is responsible for what.

Rogoff’s list of business assets have been filed with the court, which include more than $12 million in personal property and no real property. The newspaper has nearly $1 million owed to it in accounts receivable.

At the 5900 Arctic Blvd property, Rogoff left unfinished the installation of the two presses.

With M&M Wiring now putting a lien on Arctic Partners’ property because of $508,000 in construction costs and damages, and with other companies now getting lawyered up, the lawsuits are starting to pile up.

The company gave Rogoff notice in July that she was in default, but she ignored the notice, and then transferred interest in some of her personal property in order to hinder, delay, or defraud Arctic Partners, the landlord asserts.

Arctic Partners is saying Rogoff is personally liable. That’s what the other creditors are trying to do, too, because she does have personal assets that have not been revealed to the court.

ROGOFF STILL IN CONTROL

The Binkley Company was given the title “publisher” of the newspaper at the time the Dispatch went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. But Rogoff has not allowed the company to make any substantive changes that would stopped the hemorrhaging. No one has been laid off.

Even Rogoff’s executive vice president Margy Johnson has been kept on staff at the insistence of Rogoff, even though Jerry Grilly has been hired by the Binkley Company to run the operation. Grilly was once the publisher of the Anchorage Daily News, the former name of the Dispatch. But his hands appear to be tied while the bankruptcy proceeding continues, because Rogoff has not relinquished her authority.

ENTIRE OPERATION HEADING TOWARD CHAPTER 7

As the Dispatch heads for the auction block on Sept. 11, a bankruptcy trustee is recommending the case be converted to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, since there is so little likelihood that Rogoff will make good on her debts.

In an Aug. 30 filing, Attorney Kathryn Perkins in the U.S. Trustee Office says Rogoff “will face no reasonable likelihood of rehabilitation.” In other words, she’ll essentially skip out on her debts, with her personal assets untouched.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy would mean whatever remaining assets there are after the sale of the paper would be sold off and payments would be made to creditors.

Rogoff  has made a deal with the Binkley Company, but she is also believed to be in private side discussions with a group formed by Mark Begich and liberal billionaire Tom Steyer to make a bid on the newspaper at the next hearing, which is on Sept. 11. A third bidder has been rumored to be circling the newspaper as well.

The Binkley Company has loaned the newspaper up to $1 million to keep it alive until the sale. That is also the amount the Binkley Company is paying for the paper, which means nothing will be left for Rogoff’s creditors.

If the Binkley Company is not successful as a bidder, the buyer will have to pay off the $1 million loan at closing.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • What a strange world in which Alice lives. Wanting to help humanity with her wisdom but instead leaves behind a trail of carnage. So what is the lesson learned here?

    • The lesson learned is don’t trust Liberals.

    • Chris. After the butchering of the McDowell case in Kenai you have no room for criticism or approval. Keep your opinions to yourself because you just need to.

      What lesson did you learn after what you indeed were part of an estate settlement that left an elder broken?

  • I haven’t followed this deal that closely but I think this aricle has many material errors. First and foremost, I don’t believe Ms. Rogoff has filed for bankruptcy, it was the the ADN. There is a big difference. Was the ADN the lessee on the building or was it Ms. Rogoff? Did she guarantee the lease? If the ADN is a sublesse from Ms Rogoff, what are the rights and obligations of the bankrupt ( ADN) under the law? She doesn’t get to make up the rules as Ms Dowding suggests. I have no idea what the situation is but evidently neither does Ms Downing. Her shoddy reporting leaves us readers clueless and this detail does make a difference as well, at least as far as sorting out who owes whom.

    I would bet that the quote that Rogoff faces no chance of rehabilitation is materially wrong. I suspect that any such reference is to the corporation, not Ms. Rogoff. The statement may well be perfectly valid with respect to the corporation in particular but that’s not what Ms. Dowding has told us.

    No doubt sorting out the debts owed, who owes them, and what liabilities that guarantors like Ms. Rogoff may owe is very complex but thse situations are generally sorted out reasonably well in bankruptcy court but don’t think that you are going to have a clue by reading Ms Dowdings reporting.

  • My question of insiders is what is Grilly doing day-to-day? And how much are they paying him? I can’t imagine he would work for free after being head of that Denver paper. And Medred reported the paper made $22M last year. Sure Rogoff is an idiot at finance, but Grilly isn’t and I could see the paper paring down the costs, untangling itself from Rogoff and coming back again making a tidy profit year after year if costs were kept in line and they were able to save the printing press, which undoubtedly is the main money-maker. Would be curious to hear what the author of the story thinks.

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