U.S. appeals court upholds contempt ruling against Roscoe bank, president

Elisa Sand

A 2017 federal court ruling holding First State Bank of Roscoe and bank President John Beyers in contempt for violating a final bankruptcy injunction has been upheld by the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

According to a court of appeals opinion filed recently, a bankruptcy judge’s ruling that the bank and Beyers committed civil contempt in a case that dates back to 2004 was proper.

More than $200,000 in damages were ordered to be paid by the bank and Beyers.

The ruling is tied to a 2004 lawsuit. In it, First State Bank of Roscoe and Beyers were found to have acted fraudulently in getting Stanley and Rose Marie Stabler of Eureka to sign a $650,000 mortgage to prevent the bank from foreclosing on land owned by their son and his wife. A jury decided that $439,100 of the debt was obtained by fraud, according to court paperwork.

Brad and Brenda Stabler, the son and daughter-in-law of Stanley and Rose Marie Stabler, filed for bankruptcy in 2003. A state court discharged $629,000 in debt, plus interest.

In December 2015, Brad and Brenda Stabler filed a motion of contempt against the bank and Beyers. In short, it claimed that Beyers “schemed” to get payment for debt that had been forgiven.

Federal bankruptcy judge Charles L. Nail Jr., granted the contempt motion in June 2016, ordering $159,606 in compensatory damages and another $50,000 in punitive damages. Half the punitive damages were owed by the bank, half by Beyers.

That decision was upheld in federal court with a decision in March 2017. Then, the March 2017 decision was appealed in May to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled on Jan. 30.