Possible resolution in Martin bankruptcy case

Posted Wednesday, October 31, 2012 in News

Possible resolution in Martin bankruptcy case

John Martin, D-Eagle Lake

BANGOR — A federal bankruptcy judge was asked to approve an unconventional proposal to settle more than $300,000 in debt owed by Rep. John Martin of Eagle Lake.  Martin is running for reelection in House District 1.  He once served as speaker of the Maine House.

Martin's Bald Eagle convenience store was owned by Eagle Lake Outfitters Inc, until September. Martin owns 50 percent of the firm, while Gary Voisine owns the other half.  Voisine is listed as president.

Eagle Lake Outfitters filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February, in order to reorganize its debt.  The bankruptcy came to public attention during a hearing on a bill that Martin sponsored to allow mining on Bald Mountain in Aroostook County.  Martin attempted to dispel rumors that he had a conflict of interest in the case, since a good percentage of the debt owed was to Irving Oil, which was coincidentally the company that had a vested interest in mining Bald Mountain.

Last month, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Louis H. Kornreich approved the sale of Eagle Lake Outfitters Inc. to Bald Eagle Inc. for $125,000, according to court documents. Bald Eagle is a new enterprise formed by Martin and Voisine.

The store continues to operate at 3318 Aroostook Road.

On Monday, the Portland attorney representing Irving Oil Marketing, which is owed more than $250,000, filed a motion to dismiss the case and suggested a way to pay creditors a portion of what they are owed.

The attorney asked Kornreich to approve a structured settlement under the Chapter 11 rules rather than convert the case to Chapter 7, which requires the liquidation of the company.

“Irving believes that a structured dismissal is far superior to either the conversion of the case to Chapter 7 or a time-consuming liquidation plan, because, ultimately, the same result will be achieved by a structured dismissal, but in a short amount of time and at a substantially lower administrative cost to the estate and its creditors,” Irving’s attorney wrote in his motion to dismiss.

A structured dismissal would allow creditors to receive a portion of the money they are owed.

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