Once touted as “the foreclosure king of Milwaukee,” Todd Brunner, 57, has been charged with 11 counts of bank fraud and four counts of bankruptcy fraud.
According to the federal grand jury indictment, Brunner hid more than $7 million in assets from creditors in shell companies. Brunner’s son, Shawn Brunner, 24, was charged with three counts of bank fraud and one count of bankruptcy fraud.
Man About Town
Todd Brunner, once known for his real estate acumen, and physical size ( he’s 6’5 and has weighed as much as 400 lbs), built an empire of more than 200 pieces of property through foreclosure auctions. Brunner is known for driving around the Milwaukee area in a 2006 Bentley as well as his love of fancy cars and fast boats.
Financial Trouble Leads to Bankruptcy
Brunner began having financial troubles in 2011. At that point he was forced to file for bankruptcy, in which he declared he was $20 million in debt. He also listed a number of assets, including three boats, a 2000 Porsche Boxster, a 1984 Rolls-Royce, a 1959 Jaguar, a 1918 Rauch & Lang electric car, as well as a couple of Cadillacs, and a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. He also owed roughly $880,000 in back property taxes to communities in southeastern Wisconsin.
Brunner has been indicted for charges of not disclosing all of his holdings in bankruptcy court, as well as using various measures and shell companies to hide assets from lenders. The indictment also claims Brunner claimed his “gross and net income from any source” was zero, despite the fact that “his rental properties generate, on average, in excess of $30,000 per month.” Federal law states debtors are required to disclose all holdings when filing for bankruptcy protection.
U.S. Attorney James Santelle said the actions the Brunners are being charged with “not only compromise the strength of our financial institutions and banking systems but also undermine the legitimate and important processes of the United States Bankruptcy Court.”