Brooks Kellogg

Photo by Tom Ross

Brooks Kellogg

FBI: Steamboat businessman Brooks Kellogg sought hit

Developer accused of trying to have man in $2.5M lawsuit killed

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Brooks Kellogg owns this home at 1160 Fairway Woods along the ninth hole at the Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club in Steamboat Springs. Kellogg, a part-time Steamboat resident, is facing a murder-for-hire charge in federal court.

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Brooks Kellogg developed the Chadwick Estate Villas and other properties along Eagle Glen Drive near the base of the Steamboat Ski Area with Richard Friedman.

A litigious history

The disagreement between Brooks Kellogg and Stephen Bunyard stemmed from two high-dollar lawsuits filed by Bunyard’s company against Kellogg and his companies.

In a 2004 civil case, Bunyard, through First Land Development, sued Eagle Glen, of Steamboat Springs, because of a development (then named Eagle Glen, later Chadwick Estates) that was to occur in Steamboat near the base of Steamboat Ski Area.

According to the complaint, filed in District Court, First Land and Dana Shires each put land into a real estate development with Eagle Glen LLC in March 2001.

First Land held 25 percent ownership of the project. Kellogg held 25 percent, and another of Kellogg’s companies, Rubicon, held another 25 percent. Shires, who was not named as a defendant or plaintiff in the lawsuit, owned the final 25 percent.

Steamboat-based lawyer Reed Morris, who is representing Bunyard in both cases, said Eagle Glen then sold the property to Eagle One without Bunyard’s consent in a deal that closed March 31, 2003. Before that, according to court documents, Eagle Glen tried to buy out Bunyard’s company and Shires, but they turned down the offer.

“Our client was one of the landowners and silent investors,” Morris said. “First Land’s claim was that Mr. Kellogg had conveyed the property to a new development entity without any right or authority.”

Eagle One was a company registered to Kellogg that went on to change its name to Chadwick Estates LLC in August 2003. That company is registered to Richard Friedman.

The suit went to trial in Routt County, but on the fourth day, Kellogg and Chadwick Estates settled with First Land for $2.38 million plus interest, for a total of about $2.5 million. A judge agreed to that settlement June 30, 2010.

Although the suit is mostly settled, Friedman, Chadwick Real Estate Group’s managing director, is facing contempt charges and is scheduled to be in court Dec. 9 for a hearing.

In the second suit, filed this year, AMT LLC, another of Bunyard’s companies, sued Friedman, Kellogg, Chadwick Estates and Chadwick Real Estate Group for the development of a townhome in Chadwick Estate Villas, 1345 Eagle Glen Drive. The purchase price for the unit was set at $2 million, and, according to the lawsuit, Chadwick Estates agreed to sell the unit and pay AMT back the $200,000 invested plus interest and $307,500 in profit.

The lawsuit alleges that none of the payments were made. Fourteenth Judicial District Judge Shelley Hill ordered the two sides to go into arbitration and to report back to her in 2011.

— Zach Fridell

— Steamboat Springs real estate developer Brooks Kellogg was arrested Tuesday at Denver International Airport after giving $2,000 to an undercover FBI agent posing as a hit man, according to documents from U.S. District Court in Denver.

The documents said the money was intended as a payment for expenses to kill a Florida man who settled for $2.5 million in a lawsuit against business entities owned by Kel­logg and Richard Friedman, also of Steamboat.

Kellogg, 72, is the managing member of Chadwick Real Estate Group in Steamboat and owns the Old Pilot Building at 1041 Lincoln Ave. He owns a home overlooking Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club in Steamboat Springs.

He is a part-time resident of Steamboat and also has homes in Chicago and Hays, Kan., according to an FBI affidavit obtained from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The affidavit alleges that Kel­logg conspired in an effort to kill Stephen Bunyard, of Destin, Fla., whose corporations settled for $2.5 million in a lawsuit against Chadwick entities. That judgment now is in collection, the affidavit stated. A second suit for $500,000 is scheduled for arbitration in February.

Reached on his cell phone Thursday, Bunyard said he wasn’t sure how he felt about the alleged incident.

“I don’t know what my reaction is — I’m not used to having a contract put out on my life,” he said. “This is the first time it’s ever happened.

“This has been a rather stressful day, if you can imagine that.”

In the affidavit, the FBI stated that Kellogg said Friedman, Chadwick’s managing director, was aware of the attempted hit deal that unfolded in a DIA concourse.

Friedman denied having any knowledge of the circumstances that led to Kellogg’s arrest.

“I have had absolutely no involvement whatsoever in this,” Friedman said by telephone from his Steamboat home. “This has come to me as a complete shock.”

He said he hadn’t seen Kellogg in a month.

Friedman said one of his corporate lawyers contacted the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Thursday. Friedman said he also spoke with law enforcement himself but declined to specify the agency.

“They were very satisfied with my statement,” he said. “I’m not only not involved, I didn’t even know what was going on.”

Friedman said he had not hired a lawyer specifically for the situation, and he added that he’d be in his Chadwick office today, “business as usual.”

Kellogg is a member of the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs and owns “office buildings and shopping centers in Chi­cago and Steamboat Springs,” according to the Chadwick website. The site also states that he was born in Oberlin, Kan., and graduated from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan.

Citing monitored phone calls, e-mails and online instant messages, the FBI affidavit details a correspondence in recent months between Kellogg and a 47-year-old Clifton woman. Clifton is northeast of Grand Junction. The FBI stated that although the woman has a lengthy criminal history in two states and “has provided misleading information and inaccurate information in a number of respects,” two principal events corroborated her allegations.

The first, the FBI stated, was an Oct. 5 phone call between the woman and Kellogg monitored by two FBI agents. In that call, the person identified as Kellogg agreed to talk with the would-be killer and told the woman Friedman knew about the “hit.”

“Not true,” Friedman said Thursday, referring to any allegation in the affidavit about his involvement. “Not true.”

The second event, according to the FBI, was a series of monitored phone calls between Kellogg and an undercover FBI agent that set up and led to Tuesday’s meeting at DIA.

The FBI also stated that the woman has received more than $13,000 in four wire transfers since July 19, from the Chadwick Real Estate Group business account at Vectra Bank in Steamboat. The money went to a Chase Bank account in Wilcox, Ariz., that the woman shared with her husband, who the FBI stated was the “contracted killer.” The total transfers included a $6,000 wire sent Sept. 10.

The woman “alleged that this money was for the contracted killing,” the affidavit states. The FBI also stated that the woman said she was Kellogg’s mistress.

The affidavit states that Kel­logg met the undercover agent on a DIA mezzanine — Concourse A, near Gate 34 — Tuesday afternoon with $2,000 in his pocket “for additional expense money to commit the contracted killing.”

The FBI stated that the agent showed Kellogg a picture of Bunyard, and Kellogg replied, “That’s the guy.”

The affidavit also states that the undercover agent said, “You’re the customer here,” and “You want him killed?” to Kel­logg, who replied, “Yeah.”

After the agent asked Kellogg if he had “any other jobs for me,” according to the affidavit, Kellogg said: “Yeah. I’ve got some other things in mind.”

The FBI indicated the conversation’s tone was matter-of-fact.

“At no point in the conversation did Brooks Kellogg express any reluctance to having Stephen Bunyard killed,” the FBI stated. “At no point in the conversation did Brooks Kellogg make any statement that he wanted any other, less serious, action taken.” The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release that Kellogg is charged with one count of use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire.

If convicted, the Attorney’s Office stated, he could get as many as 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of as much as $250,000.

Kellogg is being held without bail, and a detention hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, the Attorney’s Office said. Kellogg appeared in federal court in Denver on Wednesday and was advised of the charge against him and its potential penalties.

FBI Denver spokesman Dave Joly declined to comment further on the investigation or on the agency’s interest in Friedman.

The Denver Post reported Thursday that Denver lawyer Larry Pozner has been hired to represent Kellogg.

“I’m just trying to find out what is going on,” Pozner told the Post. “You have question marks and no answers.”

Pozner told the Post that Kellogg has a history as a successful businessman and an impeccable background. The FBI stated that Kellogg has no previous criminal record.

— To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4233 or e-mail mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

aichempty 3 years, 6 months ago

There's no white collar crime in Routt County.

There are no conspiracies in Routt County.

At least the FBI gets involved when someone is threatened with violence.

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Zed 3 years, 6 months ago

Wow, what would he have done to Obama if his ultra-wealthy tax cut was repealed?

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Mouse 3 years, 6 months ago

Oh word that's some cold blooded business. How do you even find a hitman? Craigslist? Classifieds in the enquirer? Late night infomercial?!?

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 6 months ago

Apparently you contact the person you know with the longest criminal history and ask that person to put in contact with a hit man. And then hope that person does what you want instead of going to the police and becoming an informant.

Nice touch by the FBI to have the meeting in DIA so they add the charge of use of interstate commerce facilities. Similar to how uncover drug buys are sometimes arranged to be near a school so they can add that charge to the more common drug dealing charge.

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Scott Wedel 3 years, 6 months ago

BTW, is there any additional information available regarding the $2.5M lawsuit that the intended victim won against Chadwick entities? What happened there would certainly appear to important facts of the story that led to all this.

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bandmama 3 years, 5 months ago

Ummmm, just a thought, think of his poor wife and family. What he was arrested for is a horrible thing thankfully prevented. Having been established here for so long it must be a very difficult time for them. He can suffer for all I care for what he tried to have done. Pretty cold thing for money.

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RPG 3 years, 5 months ago

Money is more important than life to Kellog. "Greed is good" said Gordon Gecko. To this guy Greed was God. 10 years in prison likely won't mean much to him, but the $250,000. fine will keep him up nights.

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Blythe Terrell 3 years, 5 months ago

We disabled comments on this story last night because of concerns about those that seemed to unfairly convict people mentioned in the story. Please keep in mind that those accused are innocent until proven guilty and that only one person has been accused of a crime.

Thanks to everyone who has weighed in and shared their thoughts. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Blythe Terrell City Editor 871-4234, bterrell@steamboatpilot.com

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sparkle 3 years, 5 months ago

Thanks Brooks for taking the heat off Kay Weinland. I also love Richard Friedman's comment about going to work today to do "business as usual." That's priceless!

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seeuski 3 years, 5 months ago

There have been a few crazy crimes in the History of Steamboat this just adds another to the list.

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ftpheide 3 years, 5 months ago

Maybe, Mr. Kellog is one if those "intelligent professionals" Zorro spoke of !

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blue_spruce 3 years, 5 months ago

"...Money is more important than life to Kellog. "Greed is good" said Gordon Gecko. To this guy Greed was God..."

sounds like an Ayn Rand disciple!

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bellyup 3 years, 5 months ago

I can't believe a Chicago guy can't do a better job setting up a hit. He must have gone to private schools.

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bandmama 3 years, 5 months ago

belly- I am sorry, no matter what the circumstance. THAT is funny.

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Fred Duckels 3 years, 5 months ago

This is a sad story. The private sector is fraught with risks, and at the same time expected to carry the burden of society. Often it is villified as some blogs indicate, but I suggest that the detractors have probably never sat in the saddle. Today we have hard times for many risk takers, but when it gets better they also deserve the spoils.

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Neil O'Keeffe 3 years, 5 months ago

Interesting observations, my question is at what cost do those "risk takers" deserve the spoils? Gota love our "free enterprise" he who dies with the most ??? wins system! Thanks for "carrying the burden" Fred!

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Kuri 3 years, 5 months ago

"This is a sad story. The private sector is fraught with risks..." No kidding, Fred! Stephen Bunyard ended up with a contract on his life! High risk indeed.

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aichempty 3 years, 5 months ago

But, how often do we have a "cereal" killer in town? Now that's NEWS!

First, Pizza hut. Now this.

I say, "The very best to YOU this morning!"

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sparkle 3 years, 5 months ago

Fred, I don't believe that anyone is "villifying' the private sector in the previous comments. The act speaks for itself, and it is not a reflection of "carrying the burden" of society run amok. Having "sat in the saddle", it is a question of choosing illegal behavior and tragic behavior over legal and responsible behavior.

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Ken Reed 3 years, 5 months ago

Neil,

I agree, Fred's comment is weird. However, a quick search indicates you own your own business and are a part of the free enterprise system. I don't know Fred but can't imagine he meant that this act was okay because Kellogg was somehow carrying the burden of society. Your post is as bizarre as Fred's.

Ken

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ftpheide 3 years, 5 months ago

The"worst" is yet to come for Mr. Kellogg. The Rotary Club is thinking about suspending his membership!

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aichempty 3 years, 5 months ago

Got any idea what the most dangerous thing on Earth is? It's a man with nothing left to lose.

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Fred Duckels 3 years, 5 months ago

I am not condoning any activity, my point is that the private sector has many pitfalls, but is much maligned by left leaning bloggers as fat cats. The marketplace can be brutally unfair at times. Aich has probably hit the nail.

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chickadee 3 years, 5 months ago

More dangerous might be a man with nothing who is left too loose.

And the collective noun for a man with nothing who is left too loose is.....................................................................................

dog park!

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chickadee 3 years, 5 months ago

p.s.

Here's to all of the 73 yr old men out there to whom it does not even occur that their "Mistress" is willing to sell herself out to the next highest bidder.

ahahahahahahahahaahahahahah. suckers.

and, oh. please. as if the wife does not know. people make choices.whether she knows or chooses to drift in the current of the hazy waters of denial, it is still a choice. and in a sense, a sell out that on its surface seems so much more noble than the choice of the mistress when really it is all the same.

How many people can do you count in the story above who obviously have a price tag on on themselves at which they sold out?

How many local white collar criminals are breathing a sigh of relief that the FBI reported that their business is finished here?

Back to "business as usual". Indeed.

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freerider 3 years, 5 months ago

I knew the Real Estate market was in bad shape and this just proves how bad it is out there

I guess this guy was afraid he would have to get a real job and actually have to work for a living

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snakeh8r 3 years, 5 months ago

Ms Clifton is one of a stable full of "helpers" Brooks and Richard take care of financially. According to a report from the Fort Hays paper, it started when Brooks wanted her to burn down a house he owns so he could get the insurance money.

Brooks attorney made the statement that he has "no criminal background". He hasn't been convicted of anything maybe, but I don't believe one starts down the path of shady business deals by looking for a hitman.

JMHO

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chickadee 3 years, 5 months ago

^^^ and I doubt most men acquire their first "helper" at age 73

even though they do need more "help" at that age

Here is the link to the Westord article.

http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2010/10/brooks_kellogg_73_accused_of_trying_to_hire_hit_man_to_kill_opponent_in_real_estate_lawsuit.php

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