debtor received

Bankruptcy Trustee for ‘Santa Barbara News-Press’ Attempts to Claw Back Buildings

At the time of the bankruptcy filing of the Santa Barbara News-Press, many wondered how the company, owned by billionaire Wendy McCaw, could have only $50,000 in assets. Required to do more than wonder are bankruptcy trustee Jerry Namba of Santa Maria and his attorney, Michael D’Alba of Danning Gill in Los Angeles, who filed a lawsuit against McCaw — through her company Ampersand Publishing LLC dba Santa Barbara News-Press — on December 26 alleging she fraudulently transferred ownership of the flagship building on De la Guerra Plaza and its printing plant in Goleta from her publishing company to herself — through two other limited liability companies she owned. The two properties are worth an estimated $26 million. The liabilities in the bankruptcy are said to be approximately $10 million, including a $3.6 million judgment in favor of McCaw’s employees who had formed a union that their boss never negotiated with in good faith.

A number of those employees are also owed back wages, and it’s the taxes on those wages and the judgment that the Complaint argues provide an avenue to claw back the two buildings.

Wendy McCaw, owner, and Arthur von Weisenberger, co-publisher, of the ‘Santa Barbara
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