Minuteman Spill files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, seeks reorganization

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | 5/7/2014

A Pennsylvania-based trucking company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection nearly a year after federal agents and the state attorney general’s office raided the company’s corporate headquarters in Middletown, Pa.

The company, Minuteman Spill Response Inc., which provides hazmat and emergency response services, filed the bankruptcy petition on April 18 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

In its petition, Minuteman claims there should be funds available for distribution to unsecured creditors. The company is currently operating and plans to reorganize.

The company, which also hauls waste water for the natural gas industry, states that it owes between 50 and 99 creditors. It lists both its assets and liabilities as being between $1 million and $10 million.

On Wednesday, May 7, Minuteman President Brian J. Bolus did not respond to Land Line’s interview request. He also owns Minuteman Towing Inc.

According to court documents, the company filed for bankruptcy after Manufacturers & Traders Trust Co. filed a motion in March seeking repayment of loans totaling more than $4.6 million. M&T Bank is the largest unsecured creditor. Court documents allege Minuteman owes M&T Bank more than $10 million after defaulting on its line of credit with the bank.

On April 28, the bankruptcy court granted Minuteman’s expedited motion on authorizing the use of cash collateral to pay operating expenses. A judge authorized the company to use more than $253,000 to meet payroll and related expenses, fuel costs, landfill fees and other miscellaneous expenses until May 22.

Minuteman must submit weekly reports to M&T Bank. The company said in the court filing that access to cash to continue operating was “absolutely vital” to meet its operating expenses.

No charges have been filed against Brian Bolus or the companies he owns stemming from the multi-agency raid on May 29, 2013. At that time the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office seized all of Minuteman’s accounting records during the road. According to court documents, those records have not been released to Minuteman.

Other agencies participating in the raid include the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service.

Court documents filed in the bankruptcy case state that more than $340,000 of Minuteman’s money has been frozen in an account at M&T Bank, “in accordance with an order entered by the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County (the Grand Jury Court) in connection with the pending grand jury investigation and cannot be used by (Minuteman) as cash collateral.”

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