Legal Saga Between T. Boone Pickens and Swift Boat Leader Takes Another Turn

You don't get to be a billionaire -- or OK, now just a high multi-millionaire -- by letting people skate on debts. Our favorite local college football fan, YMCA patron and wind energy enthusiast is no exception.

Last summer, T. Boone Pickens sued William Franke, founder of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and former owner of the defunct St. Louis Globe-Democrat newspaper, for Franke's failure to pay back a $3.5 million loan. A judge ruled for Pickens in October.

Now, Pickens is suing Franke again in Dallas County district court, claiming that the defendant has conspired with his wife to hide assets.

As part of the judgement in the first case, Franke agreed not to do anything with Gannon International -- the St. Louis-based international trade and development company he founded -- that would hinder Pickens collecting his debts from the piecing out of the bankrupt company.

Pickens says Franke tried to do just that by transferring his interests in the company to Franke's wife, Ruth, and attempting to sell Gannon assets. Additionally, Pickens claims the couple altered Gannon's corporate structure in order to shelter assets from Pickens' collection efforts.

Pickens suit accuses the Frankes, and Gannon, of conspiracy, tortious interference with contract and violating the Texas Uniform Fraudulent transfer act and seeks damages including the forbidding of transfers between the Frankes, the reversal of previous transfers, the unpaid loans, the interest accumulated on those unpaid loans as well as punitive damages.

A person reached by telephone at Gannon International was unaware of the suit.

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