Clayton-Based Eighteen Investments Named in Fraud Lawsuit

The case involves transactions related to rental properties, court documents state.

This week's Off the Beaten Patch installment explores a lawsuit involving rental-property transactions and rumors of a new St. Louis brewery, both with ties to Clayton.

Bellington’s Litz and Frontenac Bank sued for $2.5 million by St. Charles real estate developer

Bellington Realty co-owner Michael Litz of Ladue and his investment company Eighteen Investments, along with Frontenac Bank, are being sued for fraud by Treadstone Properties and its managing partner Samuel Webb Smith III.

According to court documents, Smith claims Litz asked him to meet in 2009 to discuss conveying rental properties owned by Eighteen Investments to Treadstone LLC.

At that meeting, Smith claims Litz proposed that Treadstone assume Eighteen’s notes and deeds of trust for the loans that had been extended by Frontenac Bank for Eighteen’s purchase of the properties.

In the documents Smith claims Litz said the properties were worth 20 to 25 percent more than they really were. Litz then arranged for a meeting between Smith and Frontenac Bank representative David Webb at Eighteen’s Clayton office.

At the meeting, Smith claims Webb already knew the terms of the deal proposed to him by Litz. Frontenac Bank had previously extended loans to Eighteen on these and other properties.

Following that meeting, Frontenac Bank approved Treadstone’s assumption of Eighteen’s obligations. Smith claims that Frontenac Bank’s motivation for approving and entering into this transaction was to substitute good debtors, Smith and Treadstone, for their bad ones, Litz and Eighteen.

Smith is seeking $2.5 million in punitive damages. Frontenac Bank is headquartered in Earth City and also has branches in Frontenac, St. Charles and Kirkwood.

Busch family close to breaking ground on new brewery downtown with revised ownership group

According to a source who is an executive in the construction industry, a new brewery formed by members of the Busch brewing clan will soon break ground in downtown St. Louis after parting ways with a former investor and regrouping with a revised ownership group.

Anheuser-Busch heir Billy Busch and John Timmermann, former director of retail operations for Bridgeton-based Dent Wizard International, filed in March with the office of the Missouri Secretary of State to dissolve Busch Timmermann Brewing.

Timmermann lists a Naples, FL, address as his home according to court documents, but he and Busch are reported to have neighboring properties in St. Charles County — Busch’s Blue Heron Farm and Timmermann’s Mallard Point Farm.

A search of documents filed with the Secretary of State reveals that William K. “Billy” Busch filed documents June 29 that changed the name of his organization from William K. Busch, LLC, to William K. Busch Brewing Company, LLC.

The same source, who is close to the project, said others who have a vested interest in the brewery include Adolphus A. Busch IV (chairman of Great Rivers Habitat Alliance), Don Musick III (president of Don C. Musick Construction Company), and Mike Brooks (president and chief executive of Ardent Outdoors).

Highly respected Clayton attorney Bob Blitz would not comment about his client Don Musick’s involvement with the project. The location of the new brewery is unknown, but is believed to be near downtown St. Louis.


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