Bankruptcy Trustees Grill Monk at Hearing

By Dennis Magee
Wcf Courier
January 15, 2012

Ryan St. Anne Scott

GALESBURG , Ill. --- A pair of federal bankruptcy trustees and a private attorney grilled the leader of the Buchanan Abbey under oath Friday afternoon.

The creditors meeting in the Knox County Courthouse was designed to determine what assets Ryan St. Anne Scott and his failed venture in Illinois, the Holy Rosary Abbey, still have and where those items, real estate and bank accounts are.

More basic issues had to be answered first.

"Who are you? is the bigger question," said Renee Hanrahan, a trustee involved in Scott's separate personal bankruptcy case in Iowa.

Scott introduced himself at the hearing as Ryan Patrich Scott.

Bankruptcy trustee James Inghram, however, noted another name on the bankruptcy petition filed in Illinois: Fr. Ryan P. (St. Anne) Scott. Inghram pointed out a third name on an Illinois driver's license: Ryan Patrich Scott Gevelinger.

"Is your last name Scott or Gevelinger?" Inghram asked.


Scott, however, testified he was born in Richland Center, Wis., and the name on his birth certificate is Randell Dean Stocks.

"I've used Ryan Patrich Scott since the church changed it," Scott said.

"Who changed it?" Inghram asked.

"The Catholic Church," Scott testified.

"I've tried to get documentation from the church, but they refused," he added.

Scott testified he was raped by priests in 1977 and then sent by church officials to the Diocese of Tucson, Ariz., for counseling. He said church leaders there "changed my name in order to protect me," providing a Social Security card and drivers license.

In earlier writings, including a document Scott provided The Courier, Scott alleges he was "brutally gang-raped in the early fall of 1976 as a young Religious ... in the rectory of St. John's Cathedral in Milwaukee." In the document, Scott also alleges the identity switch was performed "without my knowledge or consent by chancery officials in Tucson" under the direction of a bishop.

Scott repeated the essence of that claim to the St. Louis Post in 2002.

In a different version of events for that time frame, Scott in other writings claimed he was molested by a single priest in 1976 in Davenport, and a bishop ordered him to Tucson in October of that year. In that account, Scott wrote he stayed there until the fall of 1977.

Beyond that, in a resume Scott once used he claims he worked as a staff accountant from November 1976 to July 1978 for the California Accountantcy Corp. in Los Angeles.

The date of birth Scott provided on that resume is April 21, 1950. Scott testified Friday in Illinois he was born April 21, 1953.

Scott also testified he was legally adopted two years ago in Knox County in Illinois. His adoptive mother, Roseanna Gevelinger, is in her mid- to late 80s and is a member of Scott's religious community now living in the former Buchanan County home.

Scott provided no evidence of the adoption at the hearing other than his drivers license. The Knox County Clerk of Court previously said she could neither confirm nor deny such a legal event took place because adoption records in Illinois are sealed.

Inghram also questioned Scott about gold in the Holy Rosary Abbey's possession, specifically chalices and coins.

"All that's been transferred according to corporate resolutions to the Buchanan Abbey," Scott testified.

"We did at one time have some gold and silver, but that's been some time ago," Scott added later.

Attorney Dan Deneen also asked questions. He represents Sheila Anderson, a former member of Scott's religious community in Galesburg, in a civil lawsuit against Scott.

A district court judge in July awarded Anderson a summary judgment worth $161,000 as compensation for loans Scott acknowledges. The judge also put a constructive trust on the Holy Rosary Abbey in Galesburg, meaning Scott no longer has control of the property.

Deneen slid a dozen court documents one at a time across the table for Scott to review. Scott repeatedly testified he did not recognize or had never seen the paperwork, though some documents apparently carried his signature.

Scott later offered that he had suffered two heart attacks in 2011 and that he has post-traumatic stress disorder.

"I take a lot of medications. I don't have the instant recall," he said.

Scott also tried to explain why he has not yet produced many documents previously demanded by Deneen and the bankruptcy courts. He said it would be "virtually impossible to go through 800 boxes" to find the paperwork.

Attorney quits

Scott entered the fray Friday afternoon without legal representation. The attorney for Scott's personal bankruptcy and the Holy Rosary Abbey's bankruptcy petitions asked to withdraw from the cases just a few hours before the creditors meeting.

Brian Pondenis attended the session and sat at Scott's right hand but did not assist his former client. Pondenis declined comment after the session, suggesting his motion would "speak for itself."

"Counsel specifically and explicitly asked certain questions of (Scott) before agreeing to represent (Scott) and file the case, and (Scott) answered those questions and assured counsel of their completeness and accuracy," Pondenis wrote.

"However, the answers to those questions, as it was recently discovered, were inaccurate and incomplete," he added.

Pondenis said Scott "has repeatedly refused or otherwise failed to cooperate."

As a result, Pondenis concluded, the situation "would create an impossible conflict" and he could not meet his "duty of candor and truthfulness to the court and adherence to the rules of professional conduct."

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of Illinois granted Scott 21 days to find a new lawyer. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Iowa has not acted on Pondenis' motion to withdraw.

Inghram, the bankruptcy trustee in Illinois, conducted perhaps a dozen creditors meetings Friday afternoon. All but Scott's took less than 10 minutes as debtors answered questions about their forms, addresses and finances.

Scott's session ended after about 1 1/2 hours because the courthouse was closing. As a result, Inghram ordered a second session Feb. 10 in Galesburg.

A creditors meeting for Scott's personal bankruptcy case in Iowa is scheduled Feb. 6 at the Waterloo Public Library.



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