United States v. Badger, No. 14-4110 (10th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
In 2004 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) entered into a "Consent Judgment" with George Badger enjoining him from various activities and requiring him to pay $19.2 million. The government was only able to recover $6,548. It then sought a declaration that American Resources and Development, Inc. (ARDCO), Springfield Finance and Mortgage Company, LLC (Springfield), SB Trust, and ARDCO Leasing & Investment, LLC (ARDCO Leasing) (collectively, Defendants) were Badger’s alter egos so that their assets can be pursued to satisfy the Consent Judgment. While the claim was similar to one requesting to “pierce the veil” of a corporate entity and hold an individual liable for what on its face is a corporate debt, the Tenth Circuit saw the government's request in this case as a “reverse-piercing” claim because it sought to hold a corporation (or like entity) liable for the debt of an individual. The United States District Court for the District of Utah granted summary judgment for Defendants, ruling that the government’s reverse-piercing alter-ego theory was not available under Utah law. The Tenth Circuit rejected the district court's ruling, and held that Utah law recognizes the theory. The Court also rejected Defendants’ alternative ground for affirmance: that the claim is governed by the Federal Debt Collection Procedures Act and was therefore barred as untimely. The Tenth Circuit found the Act did not apply to this action to enforce a disgorgement order.