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Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 04:49 pm

Parsons declares bankruptcy

Filing comes under pressure from judge

Jeffrey Parsons, apparently failed entrepreneur, has declared bankruptcy under pressure from the judge in his pending divorce case.

The bankruptcy filing was electronically filed shortly before 7 p.m. on Monday, hours after attorneys for him and his estranged wife met with Sangamon County associate judge Steven Nardulli, who had threatened to jail Parsons if he did not follow through on promises to declare bankruptcy first made in July.

Parsons is founder and head of THR and Associates, which once sold clothing, shoes, jewelry, used goods and a potpourri of other items, at retail establishments in Springfield, Jacksonville and Urbana that recently closed as the company faced millions of dollars in federal and state liens on its assets for delinquent taxes. At least 30 people or entities have sued, most for non-payment of debt, and police across the nation have investigated complaints of bad checks written to customers who sold gold, silver and other valuables to THR at buying events typically set up in hotels.

Parsons filed a Chapter 7 petition indicating that he will liquidate rather than reorganize. According to his petition that included 17 business names he uses, including Treasure Hunters Roadshow, Cash For Stuff, J. Parsons and Fine Art Collectors Association, Parsons has between 200 and 1,000 creditors, assets of between $10 million and $50 million and liabilities of between $100 million and $500 million. No further details were provided in the petition.

Nardulli had threatened to jail Parsons if he didn’t file bankruptcy by Labor Day. The judge relented, however, and gave Parsons until Monday after his attorneys said the matter was complex.

Parsons’ estranged wife is concerned about eroding assets in the marital estate. Testimony and court filings in the case have revealed a lavish lifestyle for both parties that included a vacation home at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri worth nearly $3 million and a half-share in a jet purchased with $600,000 in silver bullion.

Contact Bruce Rushton at brushton@illinoistimes.com.
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