The opinion of the court was delivered by: James Knoll Gardner, United States District Judge
This matter is before the court on the Motion to Vacate Default Judgment, filed pro se by defendant John Michael Crim, Trustee of Allied Enterprises on August 26, 2011. *fn1 The United States Response to Crim's Motion to Set Aside Default was filed on September 12, 2011. For the reasons stated below, I deny defendant Crim's Motion to Vacate Default.
I deny the Motion to Vacate Default for several reasons. First, because defendant Crim seeks to assert the interest of Allied Enterprises as its Trustee, *fn2 he must do so through counsel and cannot do so pro se.
Next, even if Mr. Crim were permitted to represent the interests of Allied Enterprises pro se, a liberal reading of his Motion to Vacate Default and his response to plaintiffs Amended Complaint reveals that he failed to demonstrate a meritorious defense and, therefore, failed to satisfy the threshold requirement for vacating a default.
Finally, defendant Crim failed to submit a memorandum of law in support of his Motion to Vacate Default.
This is a civil action initiated by plaintiff United States of America pursuant to 26 U.S.C. §§ 7402-7403 in which the United States is seeking to reduce defendant Roy Mentzer's federal tax assessments to a monetary judgment and to satisfy that judgment by foreclosing upon two properties located in New Holland Borough, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Defendant John Michael Crim, Trustee of Allied Enterprises, is
named as a defendant because Allied Enterprises may assert an interest
in the properties upon which the United States seeks to foreclose.
Allied Enterprises' -- and thus Mr. Crim's -- interest is predicated
on two mortgages granted to Allied Enterprises by the Groff Run Valley
Trust, which is the alter ego of Roy Mentzer. *fn3
The United States alleges that the mortgages granted by
Groff Run Valley Trust to Allied Enterprises are shams and, therefore,
null and void.
On May 8, 2009, plaintiff filed a Complaint for Federal Taxes ("Complaint") against defendants Roy Mentzer; Laverne Mentzer; Roy Mentzer, Trustee for Groff Run Valley Trust; and Allied Enterprises. The first count of plaintiffs Complaint sought to reduce tax assessments to a judgment against defendant Roy Mentzer. *fn4 The second and third counts sought to satisfy the monetary judgment against defendant Roy Mentzer by foreclosing on two pieces of real property: 245 Mentzer Road, New Holland, Pennsylvania; and 918 New Holland Road, New Holland, Pennsylvania (together, the "subject properties").
On February 16, 2011, the United States filed its Amended Complaint for Federal Taxes ("Amended Complaint"). The Amended Complaint was filed against Roy Mentzer; Roy Mentzer, Administrator of the Estate of Laverne Mentzer; Roy Mentzer, Trustee of Groff Valley Run Trust; and John Michael Crim, Trustee of Allied Enterprises. *fn5
Mr. Crim, who is presently incarcerated at the federal correctional institution in Taft, California, is named as a defendant in his capacity as Trustee of Allied Enterprises.
Mr. Crim was named as a party pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7403(b) because Allied Enterprises may assert an interest in the subject properties. *fn6
Count I of plaintiffs Amended Complaint seeks to reduce Roy Mentzer's federal tax assessments to judgment against Roy Mentzer in the amount of $159,438.88, plus statutory additions and interests. *fn7
Counts II and III seek to foreclose on Roy Mentzer's federal tax liens against 245 Mentzer Road (Count II), and 918 New Holland Road (Count III).
Counts II and III also seek an order from the court declaring the mortgages recorded against the subject properties by Allied Enterprises to be shams and, therefore, null and void. Plaintiff also seeks an order declaring that Allied Enterprises has no interest in the subject properties. *fn8
Plaintiff alleges that Allied Enterprises is a trust, of which Mr. Crim is a trustee, formed at the insistence of Roy Mentzer as a means of protecting Mr. Mentzer's property from his creditors, including the United States. Plaintiff avers that the corpus of Allied Properties consists entirely of a three-seat brown leather sofa, and a two-by-six-foot coffee table with a smoked-glass top. *fn9
Plaintiff further avers that on May 22, 2000, the Groff Run Valley Trust granted two sham mortgages to Allied Enterprises: one on 245 Mentzer Road, and the other on 918 New Holland Road. *fn10 Plaintiff contends that Allied Enterprises has no interest in either property. *fn11 Rather, plaintiff alleges, the mortgages granted to Allied Enterprises were designed to hinder, delay, and prevent the collection of Roy Mentzers federal tax liabilities. *fn12
Plaintiff United States of America filed its Amended Complaint for Federal Taxes on ...