According to an excellent article in today's Post-Dispatch, the owners of the company -- brothers Darian and Cory Atkinson -- each borrowed tens of millions of dollars from the firm to fund their lavish lifestyles. For example, US Fidelis paid the mortgage and other costs for Darian Atkinson's outrageous, $17-million home in Lake St. Louis.
Reports the Post-Dispatch:
Company President Darain Atkinson, 45, owes the company $28.2 million;
and Vice President Cory Atkinson, 40, owes $20.5 million. It's not clear
whether those amounts are separate from each brother's $25,000 weekly
draw or the large disbursements made to keep them in comfort.
The company paid $445,283 to a high-end home furnisher in Truckee,
Calif., the Lake Tahoe resort community where Cory Atkinson owns a
4,695-square-foot home he bought in 2008 for $2.9 million.
Often, the company simply provided cash. Darain Atkinson got $500,000 on
April 30; Cory Atkinson received the same amount as a cash advance on
Meanwhile, the brothers also spent lavishly on the company's Wentzville office that recently employed 1,100 people but not has just over 100 workers. Those purchases included a custom rug with the US Fidelis logo and a "cash machine" (see video below) in which top-selling agents could enter and grab as much money as possible.
Among US Fidelis' creditors are NASCAR racer Rusty Wallace who's owed more than $500,000 for a sponsorship deal and former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft who's owed more than $600,000 for legal services to the company.