Judge rejects late claim in massive bank fraud case involving Aaron Marshbanks

By: - June 12, 2023 4:45 am
Brandon Dallmann

Lincoln tech consultant Brandon Dallmann, at left, confers with his attorneys after a court hearing last month concerning the estate of a deceased friend and business partner implicated in the largest bank fraud in state history. (Paul Hammel/Nebraska Examiner)

LINCOLN — A judge on Friday rejected an effort by a friend and partner of deceased businessman Aaron Marshbanks to file a late claim against the businessman’s estate, which is wrapped up in perhaps the largest case of bank fraud in state history.

Lancaster County Judge Holly Parsely ruled Friday that Brandon Dallmann, who said he was a friend and business partner of Marshbanks, missed a deadline for filing a claim against the estate and had provided no good reason why that happened.

‘Deadlines exist for a reason’

“Deadlines exist for a reason and they must be enforced if good cause for the delay in presenting a claim cannot be found,” the judge wrote in a seven-page ruling.

A five-car garage was among the features of a half-finished, 4,800-square-foot luxury home that was being built by Aaron Marshbanks, a Lincoln businessman, whose death last year was followed by financial institutions’ claims that he had fraudulently obtained more than $50 million in loans. (Paul Hammel/Nebraska Examiner)

Marshbanks, a former treasurer for the Lincoln Christian school board and an investor in rental properties, was found dead under suspicious circumstances on Nov. 2 inside a downtown Lincoln parking garage.

In the aftermath of his death, dozens of financial institutions filed claims against his estate, alleging that he, along with his financial adviser, had obtained millions of dollars of loans — many unsecured — via fraud.

The claims by the more than two dozen parties add up to more than $50 million, which those in the banking industry have said is the largest bank fraud in state history.

Deadline was missed

In settling the claims against his estate, a Jan. 24 deadline was set.

Dallmann, who was a partner in several of Marshbanks’ limited liability companies, failed to meet that deadline. He instead filed his claim on Feb. 6 and asked the court to grant an exception.

At a court hearing last month, Dallmann said he was seeking to convert some of his holdings in cryptocurrency into real estate and had “traded” $2 million in assets to Marshbanks to do that.

He said he had been told by the attorney for Marshbanks’ widow that the estate would probably be insolvent and that it would be a waste of time to file a financial claim.

But later Dallmann, who said he had initially helped the widow with the estate, obtained his own attorney and filed a claim.

Dallmann testified that he did not know whether or not his $2 million was ever invested in real estate.

Marshbanks, according to court records, owned dozens of rental properties in Omaha, Lincoln, Council Bluffs and Louisiana.

But it has been unclear where the millions he obtained through fraudulent bank loans ended up.

Just recently, a bank that had loaned him $2.5 million to build a luxury home, “barndominium” and massive backyard pond purchased the 5,000-square-foot home and complex near Walton at a foreclosure sale. The bank is seeking to sell the acreage.

Receiver appointed

Also recently, a district court judge, at the request of state banking officials, appointed a receiver to sort out and distribute any Marshbanks assets held by his financial adviser, Jesse Hill of Hickman.

In December, the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance moved to freeze the assets of Hill and his firm, First SOJO Capital Group LLC.

The department alleged that Hill had committed multiple violations of the State Securities Act, including false claims of financial assets and fabrication of financial statements.

No charges have been filed against Hill. The FBI, as well as the state banking department, continue to investigate.


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Paul Hammel
Paul Hammel

Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska state government and the state for decades. Previously with the Omaha World-Herald, Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha Sun, he is a member of the Omaha Press Club's Hall of Fame. He grows hops, brews homemade beer, plays bass guitar and basically loves traveling and writing about the state. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation.