District 3 Lafayette City-Parish Councilman Brandon Shelvin is continuing to shirk his financial obligations, according to yet another lawsuit filed in state district court this week. This time, the bishop of his church and the bishop’s wife have been pulled into Shelvin’s ever-expanding financial crisis.
On Tuesday, Liberty Bank & Trust Co. filed suit against Shelvin, also naming Stanley and Cora Sinegal, claiming Shelvin failed to make an installment payment due Sept. 30, 2009, and has since failed to meet the terms of the note. On March 10, 2008, Shelvin borrowed $70,000, and the Sinegals pledged as collateral property they own at 755 JL Drive in Scott, valued at $100,000.
Stanley Sinegal, who returned a call about 12:45 p.m. today, told the INDsider he was unaware of the lawsuit and did not even know Shelvin was in default on the loan. “This is news to me,” says Sinegal, the bishop of First United Full Gospel Assembly at 400 Saint John St. in Lafayette. Sinegal says the transaction involved his partnership with Shelvin in the used car dealership, Thrifty Way Car Sales. “This was more to finance the vehicles that were being bought from the auction,” Sinegal says. “The dealership went bottom up, but I had no idea it was at this extent,” he adds, cutting the interview short. “I’m going to have to end this, because this is upsetting. I need to make a phone call. ... I’ll get back to you.”
New Orleans-based Liberty Bank & Trust, a minority-owned bank that has a location on South Academy Street in Opelousas, asked the court to seize the property so it can be sold to satisfy the debt, which is now the principal amount of $70,939.75, interest of $1,605.69 accrued last year from Sept. 12-Nov. 30, default interest of $20.20 per day since Sept. 12, 2009, until paid, late fees of $35.18 and court costs and sheriff’s costs associated with the planned sale of the property at 755 JL Drive. The order, a writ of seizure and sale, was signed by the court Tuesday.
If the property does not cover the entire debt, the Sinegals are personally obligated to pay it because they endorsed the note, according to a copy of the promissory note in the lawsuit.
In his biography on Lafayette Consolidated Government’s Web site, Shelvin is listed as an active member of First United Full Gospel Assembly “and played an integral role in the building of the church’s multi-faceted facility.” A source familiar with the church tells the INDsider Shelvin at one time was the church’s minister of music.
Shelvin did not return a voice mail message left on his cell phone this morning.
Read more about Shelvin’s legal and financial troubles in this March 3 Independent Weekly
cover story, “The Problem with Brandon Shelvin
,” and in this follow-up story