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High-flying Premier Properties crashes

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Year In Review
The founder of local real estate firm Premier Properties USA Inc. saw his company falter this year and faced three felony charges in connection with its downfall.

Christopher P. White had built the 15-year-old company by taking on ambitious projects and leaving little, if any, margin for error.

Premier developed the Metropolis mall in Plainfield and several other high-profile projects across the United States, but financial and legal troubles began to mount in 2007 and 2008 as credit markets froze up and the economy went into a tail spin. White stared down numerous lawsuits alleging unpaid bills, defaulted loans and check fraud.

The check-fraud allegations led to criminal charges for fraud on a financial institution, check fraud and theft-all Class C felonies stemming from a $500,000 bad check that authorities say White deposited into an account with The National Bank of Indianapolis in January, in a last-ditch attempt to save his company.

Premier filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection April 23, seeking to avoid the appointment of a receiver to take control of the company and head off creditors that had taken control of several of the firm's properties.

The bankruptcy case eventually was converted into a Chapter 7 filing, and the liquidation of Premier's few remaining assets began.

Many of White's belongings, which had been put up as collateral for loans gone bad, also were liquidated at an auction Aug. 9. More than 1,000 people bid on the developer's belongings, including several Vespa scooters, flat-panel TVs, a 22-foot pontoon boat and a baby grand piano. 
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