Buske divorce hearing set this Friday in Madison County

Amelia Flood Sep. 22, 2009, 9:11am

A motion hearing is set this Friday in the controversial divorce of Sara and Thomas Buske of Edwardsville.

Household product maker S.C. Johnson is attempting to intervene in their divorce claiming it is a sham attempt to keep the company from collecting a $203 million judgment entered by a Wisconsin court last year.

Thomas Buske is currently charged with multiple counts of fraud in a Wisconsin federal court for allegedly defrauding S.C. Johnson of millions of dollars using inflated invoices from his trucking concerns.

Sara Buske filed for divorce eight days after a Wisconsin state court entered judgment in favor of S.C. Johnson.

S.C. Johnson also has another suit pending against both Buskes in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

Among the motions filed so far this month in the Madison County divorce are a request for $100,000 in attorneys' fees, a motion asking the court to order Sara and Thomas Buske to bring to it any premarital agreement and a move for declaratory judgment that would knock S.C. Johnson out of the divorce.

August hearings in the matter were canceled due to attorneys' scheduling conflicts.

Vickie Cochran, a St. Louis-based attorney representing Thomas Buske in his divorce, filed the declaratory judgment motion Sept. 2.

In that motion, Thomas Buske asks the court to assert his wife and children's rights to the marital property and to in essence cut S.C. Johnson out of the financial end of the proceedings. A previous ruling by Madison County Associate Judge Duane Bailey, who initially presided over the case, had precluded S.C. Johnson from arguing as to the grounds of the divorce.

S.C. Johnson's attorney Andrew Velloff filed a motion Sept. 15 asking the court for leave to serve Sara and Thomas Buske with notice to appear and produce any records of a premarital agreement.

S.C. Johnson argues that the documents, if they exist, should be brought to a hearing in the case Sept. 25 because they are relevant and to "ensure the integrity of these dissolution proceedings and to avoid a potential fraud on the Court."

The latest motion was filed by attorney Christopher Byron, asking the court to grant his firm $100,000 in legal fees. Byron's firm has been representing Thomas Buske in several legal matters, he wrote on Sept. 18, including the Madison County divorce, criminal proceedings in Wisconsin and in a citation issue in St. Louis.

Madison County Associate Judge Thomas Chapman is currently presiding.

Thomas Buske is represented in the divorce by Vickie Cochran.

Sara Buske is represented by Howard Feldman.

S.C. Johnson is represented by Velloff and Thomas Q. Keefe Jr.

The Buskes' children are represented by Mark Goldenberg.

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