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Lewis v. Taylor

Court of Appeals of Colorado, Second Division

March 13, 2014

C. Randel Lewis, solely in his capacity as Receiver, Plaintiff-Appellee and Cross-Appellant,
v.
Steve Taylor, Defendant-Appellant and Cross-Appellee.

City and County of Denver District Court No. 12CV1699 Honorable Edward D. Bronfin, Judge

Lindquist & Vennum PLLP, Michael T. Gilbert, John C. Smiley, Theodore J. Hartl, Denver, Colorado, for Plaintiff-Appellee and Cross-Appellant

Podoll & Podoll, P.C., Richard Podoll, Robert A. Kitsmiller, Dustin J. Priebe, Greenwood Village, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellant and Cross-Appellee

Casebolt and Plank, [*] JJ., concur

OPINION

ASHBY, JUDGE

¶1 As a matter of first impression, this case requires us to decide if the parties, by express agreement, can toll the statutory time period within which to file a claim pursuant to the Colorado Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (CUFTA), section 38-8-101, C.R.S. 2013. We conclude that they cannot. Therefore, we reverse the district court's judgment, vacate its order awarding costs and interest, and remand the case with directions.

I. Background

¶2 Defendant, Steve Taylor, invested three million dollars with Sean Mueller, a licensed securities broker, in 2006. In 2007, Taylor withdrew his money, realizing an investment profit of over $487, 000.

¶3 In 2010, the Colorado Securities Commissioner discovered that Mueller's investment company was a Ponzi scheme. Mueller was convicted of securities fraud, theft, and violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, and was sentenced accordingly. The district court appointed plaintiff, C. Randall Lewis, as receiver to collect and distribute Mueller's assets to creditors, including his defrauded investors.

¶4 Lewis sought to recover the profit that Taylor made from investing with Mueller pursuant to the CUFTA. Within the statutory time period for filing a CUFTA claim, Taylor and Lewis entered into a written tolling agreement that purportedly allowed Lewis to bring a CUFTA claim outside the statutory time period. Lewis eventually filed a CUFTA claim against Taylor outside the statutory time period but within the time period defined by the tolling agreement.

¶5 Both parties moved for summary judgment. Taylor argued, among other things, that Lewis' CUFTA claim was untimely because the statutory time period for filing a CUFTA claim cannot be extended by agreement of the parties. The district court disagreed with Taylor, held that the tolling agreement effectively extended the statutory time period, and granted Lewis summary judgment on the merits of his CUFTA claim.

¶6 Taylor appeals. He argues that (1) CUFTA claims are not subject to tolling, and the district court erred by concluding otherwise; and, alternatively (2) because he was an innocent investor, the district court erred by holding that his investment profits are recoverable pursuant to the CUFTA.

¶7 Lewis cross-appeals, asserting that the district court incorrectly calculated its award of prejudgment interest.

ΒΆ8 We agree with Taylor that the statutory time period for bringing a CUFTA claim cannot be extended by agreement. Based on this conclusion, we need not ...


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