Bundy’s financial block extended while Idaho judge considers longer order

Ammon Bundy, associates cannot move property, money for at least another week

By: - August 28, 2023 7:09 pm
People attending a lawsuit hearing against Ammon Bundy walk out of Gem County Courthouse

People attending a lawsuit hearing against Ammon Bundy walk out of Gem County Courthouse on Aug. 28, 2023. (Kyle Pfannenstiel/Idaho Capital Sun)

Ammon Bundy, his wife and associated political groups cannot move property or large sums of money for another week while a Gem County judge evaluates whether to issue a more lasting order, the judge ordered Monday.

The order restricts Ammon Bundy, his wife Lisa Bundy, his former campaign Ammon Bundy for Governor, People’s Rights Network and White Barn Enterprises, LLC, from moving property, and the Bundys are limited from spending more than $5,000 each month. 

The lawsuit alleges that Bundy has made fraudulent property transfers to evade collection of $26 million in damages awarded to the hospital system in its initial lawsuit against him, People’s Rights Network and his campaign for governor. 

Judge Brent Whiting extended the order after hearing about what St. Luke’s lawyers describe as a “sham” move by Bundy to sell his home to White Barn for one-quarter of its $1 million value and then continue to live in it under a lease in his wife’s name. 

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“We’re asking for a tool that’s going to be helpful in our clients getting justice,” attorney Erik Stidham, representing St. Luke’s Health System in the second lawsuit against Bundy, told Gem County Judge Brent Whiting in an hours-long hearing Monday requesting a more lasting preliminary injunction in the case.

The courtroom was packed for much of the hearing — with at least two uniformed sheriff’s deputies, attorneys, court staff and a crowd of around a dozen people that ebbed and flowed in size, dressed mostly in blue. At least two people at the hearing wore duct tape over their mouths.

White Barn, managed by Bundy’s longtime friend Aaron Welling and onetime campaign treasurer, is only blocked from selling or transferring Bundy’s home. 

The rest of the people and groups named in the lawsuit — Ammon Bundy, Lisa Bundy, Ammon Bundy for Governor and People’s Rights Network — are blocked from transferring or selling other property, transferring ownership interests they hold in entities and transferring monetary assets from institutions or banks.

Ammon Bundy appeared at the new lawsuit’s initial hearing that resulted in a preliminary restraining order being placed on him, but he did not attend Monday’s hearing. 

“When thieves are determining how to steal lfrom (sic) you and they invite you to discuss it with them, it’s probably better not to participate,” Bundy told the Idaho Capital Sun in a text message.

Bundy faces two lawsuits from St. Luke’s

Bundy is being sued twice by St. Luke’s Health System. 

Bundy and his associate Diego Rodriguez did not attend the two-week long jury trial in Ada County for the first lawsuit, where a jury ordered the two and groups linked to them to pay $52.5 million in damages to St. Luke’s Health System and three employees they defamed, or made false, damaging statements about in connection with their care for an infant related to Rodriguez. 

The second lawsuit alleges that Bundy has made fraudulent property transfers to evade collection of $26 million in damages awarded to the hospital system in its initial lawsuit against him, People’s Rights Network and his campaign for governor. 

The original lawsuit against Bundy, Rodriguez and groups linked to them revolved around their in-person protests and online messages targeting medical professionals and others after a primary care provider unaffiliated with the hospital contacted the state health department about the infant. That resulted in the infant being placed under temporary protective care.

Bundy has argued that the baby was healthy, but several doctors testified in court during the lawsuit trial last month that the baby showed signs of being malnourished, the Idaho Capital Sun previously reported.

Court testimony details Ammon Bundy’s home sale

White Barn LLC is owned by Farm House, a Wyoming entity controlled by Welling and his wife, Welling testified in court. Welling told the court he was approached by Bundy about whether Welling wanted to purchase the home. 

Bundy said, according to Welling, something to the effect of “Give me what you can afford.”

Welling bought the home — including household items like a dishwasher, sofas and beds, for $250,000 and then rented it out to Lisa Bundy. Welling testified he did not check if Bundy earned income. 

Welling testified that the Bundys never moved out of the home since the sale, which closed last December. 

A bank later estimated the 4,760-square-foot-house on five acres of land was worth $1 million. 

Bundy told the Capital Sun his home sale was legal.

“I sold my home after paying off the St. Luke’s lien on it. I sold it legally and well within my rights to do so. I desire to keep my family in a home and to make income so I can provide for them,” Bundy said in a text message. 

Bundy is due in court in Ada County on Tuesday for an arraignment on his contempt of court charge issued in connection to the first St. Luke’s lawsuit, where a jury ordered $52.5 million in damages. 

Bundy, in a letter posted to People’s Rights Network’s website and addressed to attorney Erik Stidham, who represents St. Luke’s Health System, mentioned “physical” defense as a way to defend himself in the lawsuit.

“It is so wrong what you and your clients are doing, how do I defend against it?” Bundy asked. “Do I flee Idaho with nothing, leaving all I have for you to take and then start over somewhere else? Do I grind through the legal process with no funds to really fight back … Do I unite my neighbors, friends and family to physically defend against this terrible assault on liberty and the right to keep the fruits of my labor?”

Judge orders Bundy, Rodriguez, groups to remove defamatory statements

Ada County Judge Nancy Baskin on Friday issued a permanent injunction in the first lawsuit ordering Bundy, Rodriguez and groups linked to them to remove defamatory statements from their website about to St. Luke’s Health System and three employees — including ones referring to them as “criminals” or alleging abuse and kidnapping. 

If Bundy, Rodriguez and the groups do not comply, the judge said there may be “contempt proceedings, sanctions and other legal ramifications.”

In the ruling, the judge noted that “disinformation” by Bundy, Rodriguez and the groups “continues” even after the final jury verdict. The actions by Bundy, Rodriguez and the groups have, the judge said, made the community less safe, causing medical professionals to leave their jobs from stress amid “intimidation and threats of personal harm,” and “indirectly” making it harder to bring medical professionals to Idaho.

“Fortunately for the Infant and our community, the Plaintiffs ignored the actions of the disruptors led by Bundy and Rodriguez and instead made saving the life of the Infant their priority. Plaintiffs St. Luke’s and Mr. (Chris) Roth,” CEO of St. Luke’s Health System, “were not distracted from their mission of providing medical care when needed to any member of our community regardless of a person’s ability to pay.”


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