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Published December 07, 2010, 10:43 AM

Bankrupt ND farmer to face lawyers

FARGO, N.D. — Tom Grabanski, a Grafton, N.D., farmer who is in bankruptcy in a multimillion-dollar, multistate farming operation, will face creditors lawyers in at least a second day of a “Rule 2004” examination at 9 a.m. Dec. 8 in a lawyer’s office in Grand Forks, N.D.

By: Mikkel Pates, Agweek

FARGO, N.D. — Tom Grabanski, a Grafton, N.D., farmer who is in bankruptcy in a multimillion-dollar, multistate farming operation, will face creditors lawyers in at least a second day of a “Rule 2004” examination at 9 a.m. Dec. 8 in a lawyer’s office in Grand Forks, N.D.

This is a continuation of an examination started Nov. 24.

Grabanski, 42, set up farming partnerships for operations in the Blossom, Texas area starting in 2006, and the Springfield, Colo., area, starting in 2008. He also started Grabanski Grain L.L.C. in in Grafton, a company that is in a separate bankruptcy, in 2007. Creditors for the various partnerships, including Farm Credit Services AgCountry and PHI Financial Services Inc., are alleging Grabanski intentionally misled them about his net worth, improperly sold collateral or otherwise deceived them. The examination was requested by AgCountry and ordered by U.S. bankruptcy court, under order of Judge William A. Hill, after Grabanski was unable to attend earlier examinations, citing stress.

Few people attended the Nov. 24 examination. Only the two lawyers for AgCountry and PHI asked questions. Transcripts of the examination are not available for another 30 days, one of the lawyers says. According to bankruptcy law, the “2004” examination “may relate only to the acts, conduct or property or to the liabilities and financial condition of the debtor” or related matters.

“In a family farmer’s debt adjustment case” the examination “may also relate to the operation of any business and the desirability of its continuance, the source of any money or property acquired or to be acquired by the debtor for purposes of consummating a (reorganization) plan,” according to a Cornell University Law School description of the process.

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