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New allegations against Colorado Springs gym and ice cream shop owner, owes over $400K

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - A former Colorado Springs ice cream shop owner claims he is still out more than $400,000 after a judge ruled that the person who bought his business owed him damages.

That man, Forsham Williams Jr. had to call into court Tuesday, to schedule a future court date where he will respond to new allegations that he opened another business despite being several hundreds of thousands in debt.

KRDO13 Investigates introduced the public to Forsham Williams Jr. in December 2022 when he owned North Academy Fitness in Colorado Springs. Customers of North Academy Fitness sent us bank statements showing their accounts being charged after the gym closed.

At the time, Williams had recently purchased the Blue Mountain Creamery, an ice cream shop in the University Village shopping center in Colorado Springs. The owner he purchased it from, Michael Van Schooneveld, says Williams remitted a down payment of $65,000 that June, but from that day forward he never received another dime from Williams.

"He was willing to come in and offer a decent amount, which is why I was like, okay, you know, this is like $150,000," Van Schooneveld said. "So what on earth is he doing? Yeah. How is it possible."

In 2022, Van Schooneveld filed a lawsuit against Williams and his LLC, "Williams Family Enterprises." He asserted that he was out over $100,000 after signing a contract with Williams to purchase the ice cream store.

Later that year, El Paso County Judge Gregory Werner ordered Williams to pay triple damages, over $443,000 to Van Schooneveld. But Williams came to court and said he didn't have any available assets and couldn't pay the judgment.

"His sort of argument was, I don't have to do anything about this judgment because it's not possible to do anything about the judgment. There's no assets, there's no money, there's nothing. And I'm declaring bankruptcy in the end. And then he walked away," Van Schnooneveld said.

In court records obtained by KRDO13 Investigates, Williams did state he could not pay the damages and promised to file bankruptcy in August 2023.

Now, six months after that claim was made, Van Schnooneveld and his attorneys filed new court documents alleging that Williams opened a new business in Monument around that same time, called The Creamery.

According to state business records, The Creamery was opened under the same LLC used to purchase the Blue Mountain Creamery, something Van Schnooeveld and his attorneys claim is an attempt to skirt accountability by transferring all available assets and liability from the previous business to the new one.

Their latest court filing states: "Generally, a company that acquires the assets of another company does not become liable for its debts. However, successor companies are liable if one of the following exceptions applies: (1) the successor expressly or impliedly assumes liability; (2) the transaction results in a merger or consolidation of the two companies; (3) the successor is a mere continuation of the seller;
or (4) the transfer is for the fraudulent purpose of escaping liability."

The attorneys are now asking Judge Werner to rule that Williams opened this new business under fraudulent pretenses, and attempted to transfer the assets to avoid liability for paying the debt.

"What's the point of contracts? What's the point of the legal system," Van Schooneveld questioned.

KRDO13 Investigates reached out to Williams numerous times by phone in January. We even visited The Creamery attempting to find Williams but he wasn't there.

He told us via a phone call to contact his attorney. We did and after multiple attempts to reach her, she sent us the following statement on Williams' behalf:

Mr. Williams appeared and told judge that he was filing bankruptcy.  Upon that statement, the judge did not further the hearing, but allowed the parties to use the courtroom to further discuss the case.  When the judge exited the room, Mr. Williams was free to go and he left.  I have attached a letter from Mr. William’s bankruptcy attorney. With respect to opening two new businesses, the last time I checked people are free to make a living in the manner that they choose. 

-- Kelly McCurley, Attorney for Forsham Williams Jr.

That letter, filed on Jan. 15, 2024, is an intent by Williams to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The letter states a bankruptcy case is set to be filed in the next 120 days.

Additionally, the El Paso County Public Health Department, which handles business licenses, says they received a change of ownership application for The Creamery on Jan. 19, 2024, and the business was officially closed that same day.

Still, to this day, Van Schooneveld has not seen a dime of the six-figure judgment ordered by the judge.

"This is someone with a mountain of evidence who is manipulating the system to jump from place to place so the consequences never catch up to him," Van Scooneveld said.

Williams is due back

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Sean Rice

Sean is reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


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