Trooien’s St. Paul Office Searched in Fraud Probe

The offices of bankrupt real estate developer Jerry Trooien were searched Thursday by the FBI and IRS for evidence relating to an alleged fraud scheme.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Internal Revenue Service on Thursday searched the St. Paul offices of bankrupt real estate developer Jerry Trooien in an attempt to find evidence relating to an alleged fraud scheme.

According to Steve Warfield, a special agent and spokesman with the FBI, authorities started searching the offices-located at 10 River Park Plaza, Suite 800-on Thursday morning and wrapped up the search mid-afternoon.

Warfield said that agents were looking for evidence “pertaining to an alleged fraud scheme.” Specifically, agents were searching for both print and electronic documents, Warfield said. He declined to give more details about the search or specify the type of fraud that is suspected.

Trooien-who owns St. Paul real estate development company JLT Group, Inc.-filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October.

According to bankruptcy documents, Trooien has assets of between $1 million and $10 million and liabilities totaling between $100 million and $500 million. He owes money to between 50 and 99 creditors.

Since filing for bankruptcy, General Electric Capital Corporation (GE Capital) has filed documents with the court requesting that Trooien's bankruptcy case be dismissed or converted to Chapter 7 liquidation.

According to documents filed Wednesday by GE Capital, Trooien “has no likelihood of rehabilitation,” and has given the bankruptcy court two plans, one of which is the “financial equivalent of placing all the estate's liquid assets on 19 black and giving the roulette wheel a spin.”

Even before Trooien filed for bankruptcy, GE Capital was battling him in court. Last year, a judge issued an order allowing GE Capital to place liens against 29 business entities in which Trooien holds an interest.

A Friday morning phone call to the office of Trooien's U.S bankruptcy trustee was not immediately returned, but the Star Tribune reports that the trustee overseeing the case recently recommended that Trooien's assets be liquidated.

A Friday morning phone call to Trooien's attorney in the bankruptcy case was also not immediately returned.