Former Strip Club Owner Allegedly Hid Money from Casper Creditors
A former personal assistant to Sonny Pilcher, the alleged former owner of the Racks strip club west of Casper, said during a trial that he didn't use a bank account and often conducted business on a cash-only basis to avoid creditors.
Caitlin Linde testified to that on Tuesday by videoconference in Natrona County District Court during the week-long trial in which a Casper businessman is seeking damages from Pilcher in a long-running legal battle going back nearly 18 years.
Natrona County District Court Judge Daniel Forgey is presiding over the bench trial.
This trial marks the latest in Pilcher's legal and business dealings, which often involve him owing money to people.
In 2014, he pleaded guilty to tax fraud and spent one year in federal prison.
In October 2020, Pilcher said in a sworn deposition that a motorcycle gang controlled the dancers at Racks and take a share of their earnings.
Monty Elliott has long wanted what Pilcher owes him, too.
Elliott, doing business as Omega Construction, is suing Pilcher, his sister and nephew Arta Blake and John Blake, Linlog LLC, CC Cowboys, Inc. (the legal name of Racks Gentleman's Club), and Anthony MacMillan -- claiming they hid Pilcher's assets to avoid paying him.
Elliott, through his attorney Steve Winship, claims Pilcher transferred all of his ownership in CC Cowboys (doing business as Racks Gentlemen's Club) to the Blakes, but did not receive a "reasonable equivalent value" for the stock transfer.
However, "Pilcher still asserts that he has an interest in CC Cowboys," according to Elliott's amended complaint filed in 2018.
Likewise, Pilcher and CC Cowboys are essentially one entity and should not be treated separately, according to the complaint.
Pilcher, sometimes doing business as SP Investments, transferred properties he owned to a company called Linlog and to some individuals without receiving "reasonably equivalent value." Those properties included his residence on South Walnut Street, Racks at 1920 Talc Road, a house on Sleepy Ridge Road, and a pickup, according to the complaint.
He conducted those transfers "with the intent to hinder, delay and/or defraud Pilcher's creditors," according to the complaint.
Elliott is asking the court to acknowledge these allegations so he can recover money Pilcher did not pay him for construction work.
His witness Caitlin Linde testified by videoconference about when she worked as Pilcher's personal assistant and bartender for Pilcher from September to December 2019.
Much of his business at Racks was done with cash, she said during her testimony and in an affidavit dated December 2020.
"I learned from Mr. Pilcher that because of his concern about judgment creditor executions directed at Mr. Pilcher's and Racks' assets, Mr. Pilcher stopped using a bank account for Racks' business operations," she said in the affidavit.
In the videoconference testimony, Linde said she sometimes accompanied Pilcher or his assistant Anthony MacMillan when they went to the office of Jim Coffman at Rocky Mountain Title Insurance, 147 S. Wolcott St., to deposit sums of cash ranging from $1,000 to $6,000. (Coffman is the registered agent of Linlog, according to Wyoming Secretary of State records.)
In her affidavit, she said, "Mr. Pilcher explained to me that in order to prevent his creditors from satisfying their judgements against him, he and Jim Coffman had matters set up where Mr. Pilcher's assets would be transferred or mortgaged to Jim Coffman or his entities."
However, Pilcher's defense attorney Keith Nachbar and the Blakes' attorney saw problems with her testimony.
They started with her reputation.
Linde, wearing an orange jumpsuit, said she was calling by videoconference from a women's prison facility where she is serving time for a guilty plea to a drug conspiracy charge.
The attorneys also asked her who produced the affidavit.
Linde said she reached out to Winship to tell her story and he wrote the affidavit approved by her.
She also said that she sat in Pilcher's truck when he went into Coffman's office, so she personally never saw the money change hands.
Nachbar also asked whether Linde's decision to quit working for Pilcher after three months had anything to do with her drug conviction.
She responded no, saying she quit because "What Mr. Pilcher is doing is wrong."