Time is running out for Brandon Anderson.
The disgraced former Waynesville financial advisor has been in hot water with state and federal agencies and was recently on the losing end of a major civil case.
While he made a last-ditch effort to maintain control over the sale of his $1.2 million Asheville home, that was quickly shot down late last month in Haywood County Superior Court, where Anderson was also hit with an additional sanction.
Although Anderson began accumulating lawsuits, property liens and official complaints a few years ago, things went sharply downhill for him in 2019. His most serious woes began in May of last year when he was fined more than $500,000 by the Securities and Exchange Commission for overcharging clients at least $367,000.
Things got worse for Anderson in September when a lawsuit filed in 2017 was finally ruled on by Superior Court Judge Brad Letts. The day Letts ruled against Anderson was actually supposed to be the day of a jury trial, but because Anderson didn’t show up and didn’t provide any evidence, Letts simply ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, John and Sandra Troiani, and ordered a $6.8 million against Anderson.
Things took a turn when, on Nov. 22, 2019, an order was signed by Superior Court Judge Brad Letts that overturned the sizable judgment.
“The Defendants’ (sic) have demonstrated and raised the issue about whether appropriate and sufficient evidence was presented on which to award the monetary damages contained in the prior judgment and due to the other irregularities which exist in the file, it would be appropriate to grant a new trial on the issue of damages,” that order reads.
Last month, Anderson filed a restraining order in response to judgment liens Pat Smathers, who represents the Troianis, filed against a home Anderson and his wife, Morgan Paige Anderson, were trying to sell the home to generate enough money to cover some of their other debts.
The Dec. 9 document notes that on Sept. 24, Anderson received an offer from a couple to buy the Buncombe County home for $1.25 million. After paying First Citizens Bank the $941,728 needed to complete the mortgage, the rest of the money was slated to cover other debts.
Anderson had agreed to settlements that would require him to pay an additional $112,420 to First Citizens, as well as sums of $82,110 and $22,931 to the N.C. Department of Revenue. But because of the judgment lien filed by Smathers, any possibility of selling the house to pay those debts went out the window. Blocking that lien was the impetus behind Anderson’s restraining order.
The motion for the restraining order explicitly stated that Anderson believes Smathers is prioritizing his clients over everyone else he has been ordered to pay.
“Mr. Smathers has asserted to all the above referenced council that he believes that his judgment liens come before every other party including First Citizens and the State of North Carolina Department of Revenue,” the restraining order reads.
It even goes as far as to say that Smathers is “impeding a government agency” from collecting the balance owed by Anderson.
“Pat Smathers is causing undue damage to First Citizens in preventing them from collecting proceeds from their position as first mortgagee, and in addition to that they have a judgment against the same property and preventing them from collecting payment in full as agreed upon,” it reads.
To make matters worse for Anderson, an order filed on Dec. 27 by Judge Letts not only put an end to Anderson’s quest for the restraining order but also even threatened him with the possibility of jail time. That order noted that there was no legal basis for Anderson’s motion.
“The court determining that Defendants’ Motion for Temporary Restraining Order is completely without merit as set forth above, and further, that the same was made in bad faith in that Defendant Brandon S. Anderson filed the same after being informed by his previous attorney Adam Bull that there was no likelihood of success or benefit to filing the motion,” the order reads.
And that’s not all. Because Bull no longer represents Anderson, TMS group or his wife, Anderson decided he would represent himself, but because he’s not a licensed attorney, he can’t defend his wife or his corporation, and the order noted he was “attempting to engage in the illegal and unauthorized practice of law.”
For this, Anderson was sanctioned, and he was ultimately ordered to pay defense attorney Pat Smathers $200 by Jan. 15.
“Defendant S. Brandon Anderson is hereby forewarned, cautioned and ordered that he shall not further attempt to represent the other defendants in this action, and that any other motions by him which are frivolous, or not well grounded in law or fact will be subject to more severe sanctions,” the order reads.
“The court determines that S. Brandon Anderson by his actions, admissions, and statements in open Court, and as set forth in his motion for temporary restraining order, has attempted to defraud Creditors, specifically including the Plaintiffs within the meaning and scope of N.C.G.S Chapter 1-410 in that he has removed, or disposed of his property, or is about to do so, with intent to defraud creditors, including Plaintiffs,” the order continues. “That S. Brandon Anderson is subject to confinement to the Haywood County Jail until complying with the provisions for bail. However, in the discretion of the Court, the Court will not at this time order Defendant S. Brandon Anderson to jail but reserves further devision with the following admonition, caution and warning: Defendant S. Brandon Anderson shall not directly or indirectly take any further action to defraud creditors, specifically including the plaintiffs.”
Now that Anderson’s motion for a restraining order has been dismissed, things get even worse for him, as noted in his motion.
“If the closing does not commence … by Dec. 20, 2019, the Defendants will not only owe the buyer approximately $7,500 but will be subject to foreclosure immediately by First Citizens Bank as the Defendants are over 160 days behind in mortgage payments,” the motion for the restraining order reads.
“The defendants will continue to owe the State of North Carolina Department of Revenue the total sum of the balance due in monthly payments of $2,500,” the order later reads.
The jury trial to reassess damages is scheduled for Jan. 21.