Buskes ask for more time to answer S.C. Johnson's federal court suit

Ann Knef Jun. 11, 2009, 12:21am

Sara and Thomas Buske have asked a federal judge in East St. Louis for more time to answer a lawsuit filed against them in April by S.C. Johnson, Inc.

The Edwardsville couple was sued by the Racine, Wisc.-based manufacturer over allegations they are frustrating collection efforts on a $203.8 million judgment issued by a Wisconsin court over a trucking bribery and kickback scheme involving Thomas Buske.

U.S. District Judge Patrick Murphy on May 15 granted Thomas Buske's pro se motion for an extension of time to answer the complaint. It is due on or before June 17.

Sara Buske filed a motion for an extension of time to reply on the date her answer was due, May 18. She is represented by Clyde Kuehn, Justin Kuehn and Jarrod Beasley of Belleville. Murphy had not ruled on the motion as of June 10.

Thomas Buske operates trucking businesses Buske Intermodal and Buske Lines. He was indicted in March in the Eastern District of Wisconsin on 23 counts of defrauding S.C. Johnson of $15 million through false and inflated invoices between 1999 and 2004. He has pleaded not guilty.

The lawsuit in federal court in East St. Louis mirrors allegations S.C. Johnson has brought as an intervenor in the Buskes Madison County divorce proceeding.

Sara Buske filed for divorce eight days after the Wisconsin court entered its $203.8 million judgment. The couple has continued to live together.

S.C. Johnson is represented by Thomas Q. Keefe Jr. of Belleville in the pending federal court lawsuit in East St. Louis.

The lawsuit alleges the Buskes "have undertaken numerous actions, including fraudulent conveyances of their marital home and other funds, designed to shift assets available for execution away from SC Johnson."

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