Tom Martino negotiating lawsuit settlement as case against ex-associate is tossed

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Tom Martino.
In September 2011, radio Troubleshooter Tom Martino talked to us about filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Months later, Martino sued two creditors he believed had accused him of fraud, and a trial in the first case finally got underway last week, only to be stayed by settlement negotiations. Meanwhile, a man who'd unsuccessfully sued Martino for emotional distress and more had his case against a onetime Troubleshooter associate thrown out as well.

Martino's reported liabilities at the time of his bankruptcy filing added up to $78 million, with creditors including First Citizens Bank, which took over his loans from another institution, Colorado Capital Bank, and International Bank. Three months later, he sued both in part to determine if his debt was dischargeable, and also because he felt the banks had implied that, among other things, he'd tried to protect assets from seizure or liquidation by listing them under his wife's name.

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First Citizens Bank & Trust in downtown Denver.
Well over a year of back-and-forths and public bickering followed before the trial got underway last week, with the Denver Post reporting about claims and counter-claims. The Martino forces were buoyed when Ken Whitelam, a onetime executive for Colorado Capital Bank, said he couldn't point to a document proving that Martino had been guilty of fraud, while the bank's team was presumably pleased by the Troubleshooter's refusal to acknowledge that he'd signed certain paperwork during 2006 and 2007 -- supposedly because his relationship with the bank was so close he hadn't needed to do so on every occasion.

But then, following a lunch break on day two, Martino's team asked the judge to postpone the case to give both sides an opportunity to conduct settlement negotiations.

What happened? Martino declines to comment, but a source tells us that members of his legal team told their opposite numbers they'd consider dropping the lawsuit if bank representatives agreed to accept a share of the bankruptcy proceeds. Talks are underway and if they bear fruit, they are likely to be completed in another week or two, with a deal potentially serving as a template for avoiding another trial with International Bank.

Continue for more about the lawsuits filed against Martino and a former associate.

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