BELLEVILLE – Angela Baron, former wife of former prisoner John Vassen, claims that he, his brother Joseph Vassen, and their father’s estate owe her $714,757.

Charles Courtney of Belleville filed suit for her in St. Clair County circuit court on Feb. 6, claiming the Vassens violated the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act.

Courtney attached an order that associate judge Randall Kelley entered in Baron’s favor in divorce court last October, in the amount of $714,757.

That order followed a Fifth District appellate court decision affirming Kelley’s finding that Vassen dissipated marital assets.

The judgment remains unpaid, Courtney alleged in the new civil suit.

He wrote that Baron and Vassen married in 1988.

He wrote that Vassen held 50 percent of VI, Inc., an Illinois corporation.

He wrote that in 2013, the marriage broke down irretrievably.

He wrote that Vassen “threatened plaintiff with a firearm in the formal marital residence; further the parties separated at that time never to live together again.”

He wrote that on July 21, 2013, Vassen threatened to transfer his stock in VI Inc. to Joseph Vassen and their father John J. Vassen.

He wrote that on July 22, 2013, without Baron’s knowledge or consent, John A. Vassen transferred his stock to his brother and his father for no consideration.

On top of the judgment, Baron seeks interest at nine percent.

In 2014, Vassen and others pleaded guilty to charges that they rigged bids at auctions of delinquent taxes in the Madison County courthouse.

Vassen served 21 months in federal prison, and completed a year under court supervision last December.

In January, he moved for immediate release from supervision.

His lawyer, Paul Slocomb of St. Louis, wrote that he showed exemplary adjustment and conduct in his responsibilities.

He wrote, “He has fully complied with the court’s express terms of supervision, including abstaining from drug use as evidenced by his continued clean monitoring, fully obeying the law, and diligently complying with the requirements of the probation department.”

He wrote, “Vassen has tried to live a productive lifestyle by holding steady employment while supporting himself and his family.”

He wrote, “Vassen’s father recently passed away.”

He wrote, “Vassen has an aging mother who lives in Florida, and Vassen would like to care for his aging mother in Florida.”

Assistant U. S. attorney Steven Weinhoeft opposed early release.

He wrote, “Probation advised that Mr. Vassen’s status was assessed but that he was not suitable for early termination at this time.”

District Judge David Herndon denied Vassen’s motion on Jan. 23, without prejudice, and directed his probation officer to file a report at 18 months.

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St. Clair County Circuit Court
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Belleville, IL 62220-1623

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