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Documents allege Ammon Bundy hiding his assets amid civil lawsuit

Anti-government activist Ammon Bundy speaking to a crowd of supporters during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown.
Heath Druzin
Boise State Public Radio
Anti-government activist Ammon Bundy speaking to a crowd of supporters during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown.

New court documents accuse anti-government activist Ammon Bundy of hiding his assets in a new sequence of shell companies as a civil lawsuit against him continues.

In a video recording from April 19, Bundy said he sold his home and doesn’t have much for St. Luke’s Health System to recover in the case.

“I have a few cars that I own,” Bundy said, in addition to some tools and about $50,000 in cash.

St. Luke’s sued him, a close friend, Diego Rodriguez, and organizations tied to both men nearly a year ago after Bundy encouraged his followers to protest at the hospital. The grandson of Rodriguez was being evaluated at St. Luke’s over health concerns.

The protests last March sparked a lockdown at the hospital’s downtown Boise campus and forced ambulances to be rerouted.

The five-acre property in Emmett is now owned by White Barn Enterprises, an LLC registered by a company in Post Falls, and is estimated to be worth $1.2 million, according to court documents. The Gem County Assessor’s office said the property was worth $998,452 in its 2022 tax evaluation.

White Barn Enterprises is subsequently owned by a Wyoming corporation, Farmhouse Holdings LLC.

Just a handful of states, including Wyoming, allow owners of LLCs to remain anonymous.

Documents from the IRS filed by lawyers on behalf of St. Luke’s show both companies are owned by Aaron K. Welling, Bundy’s one-time treasurer for his unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign.

The filings also include an email exchange between Welling and Donovan LaCour, an advisor with Wyoming-based incorporation company Prime Corporate Services from Dec. 13, 2022.

“I am sure you explained it to me but I can not [sic] recall and my office is ready to move all the existing assets for current business to new LLCs,” said Welling. “Are we moving the assets to White Barn Enterprise or Farm House Holdings?”

“The WY Holding Company is for Anonymity and privatization. People can’t see you as the member on your LLC in WY or your mailing address,” LaCour said.

In a message via Twitter, Bundy said, "No assets are being hidden by any llc."

Welling didn’t respond to a request from Boise State Public Radio for comment on the allegations.

“These appear to be fraudulent conveyances of assets into Wyoming trusts to prevent Plaintiffs from collecting on a judgment,” wrote Erik Stidham, an attorney contracted by St. Luke’s in its lawsuit against Bundy, Rodriguez and their entities.

Bundy has a history of using LLCs in his political life.

As previously reported by Boise State Public Radio, he paid $1,500 monthly to Abish-Husbondi Inc from his gubernatorial campaign totaling $27,000 from June 2021 to November 2022.

That Wyoming corporation listed Bundy as the president and sole officer of the company.

The former Idaho Deputy Secretary of State at the time said no complaints had been made and no action was taken.

Bundy claims to be a victim of ‘lawfare’

Bundy has yet to respond to the lawsuit in Ada County court.

Bundy acknowledged the case elsewhere on May 1, though, when he filed a request to move the case to federal court. Bundy accused St. Luke’s of engaging in “Lawfare,” which he described as “a level of warfare fought with lawyers using the courts as battlegrounds.”

Bundy alleged in a court filing Monday, May 8, that the district court has been “unlawful” in its handling of the case. Specifically, he argues that the court should have issued a “default” judgment against Bundy when he didn’t respond to the initial lawsuit.

“Only after (Bundy) was put in extreme jeopardy of losing all his property and his liberty did Judge Norton enter default, giving St. Luke’s open sights to everything (Bundy) owns,” he wrote.

He notes that St. Luke’s has, over the course of a year, updated its legal complaint to reflect a growing sum of monetary damages it says Bundy, Rodriguez and their entities owe the health system as they continue making allegedly defamatory statements about St. Luke’s.

Bundy asks the federal court to not only take up the state case, but to dismiss the lawsuit against him.

St. Luke’s responded swiftly.

“Bundy’s petition for removal … is yet another obstructionist tactic,” St. Luke’s attorneys said in court filings Monday, May 8. They said Bundy’s request has no merit, is baseless and untimely, and leaves out key information.

Bundy’s request “is simply a bid for more time while Bundy attempts to hide his assets and continues to use his family and acolytes as human shields to prevent his arrest,” the attorneys for St. Luke’s wrote.

Rodriguez filed his own motion Tuesday, to enjoin Bundy’s petition for the federal courts to take over the case. However, the language in Rodriguez’s motion indicates he seeks to join, not to enjoin, Bundy’s effort to move the lawsuit into federal courts.

An Idaho District Court judge last month issued a civil arrest warrant for him after finding probable cause he committed contempt. As of Wednesday morning, the warrant is still valid.

A trial in the case is scheduled for July 10.

Editor’s note: St. Luke’s is a financial supporter of Boise State Public Radio, but had no knowledge of or input into this story.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

Copyright 2023 Boise State Public Radio

I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season.
Audrey Dutton is a senior investigative reporter at the Idaho Capital Sun. Her favorite topics to cover include health care, business, consumer protection issues and white collar crime.

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