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Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012 04:12 pm

THR shuts down

Stores close

THR & Associates this week closed stores in Springfield, Jacksonville and Urbana as the company heads toward bankruptcy.

The troubled Springfield-based company, which has been bouncing checks and owes millions of dollars in delinquent taxes, has ceased operations and will liquidate rather than attempt to re-organize via bankruptcy, according to filings in the divorce case of Jeffrey Parsons, the company’s president.

The closed stores include J. Parsons in Springfield and Buy Sell Trade stores in Springfield, Jacksonville and Urbana.

THR has asked the Internal Revenue Service to allow proceeds from sale of assets to go to employees and customers who have received bad checks for wages and valuables sold to the company at buying events across the nation, according to court filings. THR had previously agreed to forward funds from going-out-of-business sales at J. Parsons and two Springfield warehouses to the IRS, according to testimony in Parsons’ divorce case. The company is facing at least 30 lawsuits, most for bad debt, and default judgments are in the six figures.

THR is under criminal investigation in several states after writing bad checks to customers who sold gold, silver and other valuables to the company at buying events typically set up in hotels. Police in Michigan have said that the FBI has launched an investigation.

While THR has gone out of business, Jacob Parsons, the son of Jeffrey Parsons, has started a buying operation called JAP Enterprises that buys, sells and trades valuables. During a hearing in his divorce case last week, Jeffrey Parsons acknowledged that he recently loaned his son $26,000 to get started. Since the IRS has frozen or levied accounts at banks and The Gold Center in Springfield, which has purchased bullion from THR, Jeffrey Parsons testified that an employee who now works for JAP Enterprises has sold gold or silver on THR’s behalf so the IRS cannot seize proceeds.

Jeffrey Parsons acknowledged that THR has 55 storage units across the country, but testified that he did not know what the units contain because employees had been taking things.

“Boy, I wish I knew – maybe you can help me out,” Parsons said under questioning by Peggy Ryan, his estranged wife’s lawyer.

Parsons had agreed to pay his estranged wife Jennifer $25,000 a month while the case is pending and limit his own monthly spending to a like amount. In court documents filed Wednesday, he asked that the monthly allowance for himself and his wife be set at $15,000 each. 
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