Advisor’s bankruptcy puts Richmond widow’s lawsuit on hold

Richmond Federal Courthouse

Richmond Federal Courthouse

An embattled Charlottesville businessman and financial advisor has filed personal bankruptcy, putting at least a temporary halt on a $6 million lawsuit filed against him by the widow of a Richmond investment banker.

Victor M. Dandridge III, who’s being sued by Richmonder Lynne Kinder for allegedly pillaging her family’s nest egg, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on March 24 in federal court in Lynchburg.

Dandridge, who until last year was a partner at Richmond investment firm Thompson Davis & Co., also put one of his businesses – Charlottesville-based Timberlake Lighting – into Chapter 7 bankruptcy in February. Kinder is that company’s largest creditor.

The filings put on hold Kinder’s efforts to win $6 million in damages from Dandridge, who began managing Kinder’s money after the death of her husband Carr Lanier “Trey” Kinder in 2005.

Bankruptcy proceedings put a freeze on pending litigation against debtors, but creditors and claimants can petition the court to continue proceedings outside the protection of bankruptcy. Kinder has done just that in the Timberlake bankruptcy case, but has not yet made a similar filing in Dandridge’s personal case.

The bankruptcies also come in the midst of potential criminal charges against Dandridge. Kinder’s lawsuit claims a criminal investigation was launched against Dandridge by the FBI in October.

Kinder filed her lawsuit Nov. 17 in Richmond Circuit Court, claiming Dandridge stole and mismanaged Kinder’s money in a scam that diminished her assets from $6.9 million to less than $2 million.

Dandridge admitted in a response in January that he “took substantial amounts of Mrs. Kinder’s money” while his businesses in Charlottesville and Midlothian were floundering. He also attempted to shield other defendants in the case, including his wife and Thompson Davis, repeatedly denying liability on behalf of anyone other than himself.

Dandridge, a UVA grad who also worked in Richmond for First Union in the late 1980s, in his personal bankruptcy filing claims assets of $220,000 and liabilities of $2.94 million. He cites monthly income between him and his family of around $5,000, and reports that he’s working as an Uber driver.

Dandridge is represented in his personal bankruptcy by Charlottesville attorney Robert Stevens. He’s represented in the Kinder case by Francis Lawrence.

Kinder is represented in the civil suit by Richmond attorney Mark Krudys.

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