Lenders pay Henderson for legal fees in city's lawsuit against developer

The lenders who assumed the inside track to buy 480 acres of federal land once targeted for an arena in Henderson cleared their first hurdle Friday when they paid the city $250,000 for the legal fees associated with its land fraud lawsuit against developer Chris Milam.

The $250,000 payment was a condition in this week’s settlement between the city and Milam, who bowed out of a deal to buy the Bureau of Land Management property for $10.5 million. Milam’s lenders, Texas-based Rockafellow Investments, LLC, and II C.B., LLC, had loaned Milam $16 million, including the $10.5 million he used to pay the BLM for the 480 acres.

City spokesman Bud Cranor confirmed Friday that Rockafellow and II C.B. paid the $250,000. Friday was the deadline.

Milam is out of the picture after the city sued him and alleged a land fraud deal, accusing him of masterminding a bait-and-switch fraud that involved promising an arena when he was planning to buy the land for a sweetheart price and then flip it to homebuilders. He agreed in the settlement to never do business in the city ever again.

The next step is for Rockafellow and II C.B. to pay the city $4.25 million if they choose to close with the BLM, according to the settlement. They have until May 13 to close.

The federal government is investigating the land deal.

Contact reporter Alan Snel at asnel@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5273.