Fayette County

Creditors lost while Kentucky business owner hid money during bankruptcy, grand jury charges

The owner of a Lexington business that declared bankruptcy siphoned off $315,000 from his company that should instead have been available to pay creditors, a federal grand jury has charged.

The grand jury indicted Barry E. Sanders on four counts of concealing assets before and after his company’s bankruptcy. The time period covered in the charges ranges from May 2013 to March 2014.

The money was in the form of cashier’s checks to Sanders, according to the indictment.

Sanders was owner of Trailblazers Inc., which sold car and truck accessories, according to a court record.

The charges against Sanders carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Hanly A. Ingram issued a summons for Sanders to make an initial court appearance April 8.

A September 2012 profile by Smiley Pete Publishing said Sanders had roots in Eastern Kentucky and started his first business in Pikeville in 1978 to cater to the surge in interest in off-road vehicles.

Trailblazers had an office on New Circle Road.

In that story, Sanders projected that strong online sales would push his business, which he started with $20,000, to a $100 million-a-year enterprise by the end of 2013.

Trailblazers instead filed for bankruptcy less than a year later, listing debts of more than $2 million just to its 20 largest creditors, and ultimately closed.