Embattled businessman Eyler files for bankruptcy

Former Indianapolis businessman Gary L. Eyler, who is facing an ongoing legal battle over his Indianapolis-based company, The College Network, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Eyler filed for bankruptcy Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Nevada. He made the filing there because he currently resides in Las Vegas, according to court records. 

According to the filing, Eyler has assets of $1 million to $10 million and liabilities of $10 million to $50 million. The filing identifies 32 creditors, ranging from the Internal Revenue Service and a medical office to credit-card providers and luxury car companies Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz. 

Among the creditors listed is Franklin, Tennessee-based Southeast Financial Credit Union, which has a lawsuit pending against Eyler and The College Network.

The College Network, founded by Eyler in 1995, sold online test-prep materials for college entrance exams. Southeast made $35 million in loans to 10,000 of The College Network’s students.

In 2015, Southeast filed its case against Eyler and The College Network, alleging they owed more than $13 million on defaulted loans. 

In its suit, Southeast charged Eyler fraudulently restructured The College Network to evade creditors. In 2015, The College Network was sold for no compensation to Fishers-based Career Learning & Academic Support Services and Las Vegas-based Global Learn, both of which are affiliated with Eyler.

At the time, The College Network was facing lawsuits from multiple states. The case brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman alleged its customers “were duped into buying expensive, inadequate study materials and access to ‘academic advisors’ who were falsely touted as experts.”

Eyler failed to show up for a scheduled deposition in that case last month. A representative said at the time that Eyler was planning to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

In a court filing, Southeast shot back that intending to file for bankruptcy is not a legitimate basis for missing a deposition.

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also known as liquidation bankruptcy, allows debtors to use their property to pay creditors. Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, debtors are also able to have many of their debts discharged.

Eyler’s initial filing did not include details on his assets, liabilities, income or expenses. He has until March 16 to supply additiional information. 

The only Indianapolis creditor listed in Eyler’s bankruptcy filing is the law firm of Doninger Tuohy & Bailey LLP.

It’s not clear whether Career Learning and Global Learn are still operating. Each still has an active website, but phone messages left at the businesses were not returned.

Citing The College Network’s refusal to defend itself, the court on Feb. 27 issued a default judgment against the company. As part of its request for sanctions against Eyler, Southeast Financial Credit Union sought a similar judgment against Eyler personally for the entire $13 million it says it is due.

The bankruptcy filing automatically stays proceedings against Eyler in that case and other civil lawsuits.

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