By Stan Welch
Easley attorney Candy Kern Fuller sat stoically by in U.S. District Court Tuesday as her lawyer argued a motion to release her as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by three veterans who claim that she was a key player in a scheme to bilk them out of their veteran’s and disability benefits.
Charleston attorney David Overstreet argued that Kern Fuller had simply served as an escrow agent between the five companies involved in the scheme, and the many veterans who became victims of it.
Chicago attorney John Dolan, representing veterans Chad Wright, Jason Lyons, and Adrian Russo countered that argument, describing Kern Fuller as the central banker in the scheme, adding that she controlled the flow of money.
He also argued that Kern Fuller failed to disclose the unusually high interest rates attached to the repayment of the lump sum amounts that the veterans received in exchange for surrendering their benefits for a set period of time. He further argued that she failed to disclose that eight states have declared the lump sum scheme to be illegal; and she even went so far as to advise the veterans on how to transfer the funds from their benefits in such a manner as to avoid federal scrutiny.
Kern, who introduced herself professionally to Anderson County by appearing as Councilwoman Gracie Floyd’s ‘personal attorney’ at a 2009 County Council meeting, also represents former county administrator Joey Preston in his efforts to retain the $1.1 million severance package that the outgoing 2008 Council awarded him.
Her self proclaimed status as a victim of the Ron Wilson Ponzi scheme during that time came under suspicion when federally appointed receivers discovered that the amount of profit she made on her investment was actually double the amount she claimed. The progress of that case, and the attempt to recoup any possible revenues from the sixty million dollar scheme continues.
District Court Judge Donald C. Coggins, Jr. made no ruling Tuesday, but he has declined to release other defendants on jurisdictional grounds earlier in the proceedings of the case.
By Stan Welch