Steamboat developer gets six years in prison in murder-for-hire
September 2, 2011
A Steamboat Springs developer was sentenced to six years in prison today for hiring someone to kill a former business partner, a crime the judge said was about “greed with a capital ‘G’.”
Brooks Kellogg, 72, also was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine.
The U.S. probation department had recommended a fine of $15,000, based on financial documents Kellogg submitted to the court that showed he had no income and that he is about $38 million in debt.
But U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello said she didn’t believe Kellogg — who owns several properties, including a home valued at $2.6 million — was accurately reporting his assets.
“I don’t think you’ve been candid with us,” Arguello told Kellogg. “I do belive you’ve been somehow dissipating assets.”
Kellogg’s attorney, Larry Pozner, told the judge that like many other real estate developers, Kellogg is underwater on multiple properties.
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“He is broke,” Pozner told reporters outside the courtroom.
Kellogg was arrested in October after FBI agents said he flew to Denver from Chicago and paid an undercover agent he believed was a hitman $2,000 to kill Steven Bunyard. Kellogg owed Bunyard $2.5 million as part of a legal settlement over a Steamboat Springs development deal.
Bunyard told Arguello today that the threat on his life had been deeply disturbing to him and his family. He described Kellogg as a bully who had made previous threats against him.
“This is essentially a sociopath driven by power, driven by greed, and is as arrogant as any man I’ve ever encountered,” he said.
Kellogg pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of traveling across state lines with the intent that a murder be committed.
Asked whether he would like to make a statement, Kellogg said only, “I’m tempted to but I think I’ll pass.”
Pozner noted Kellogg had no criminal record and said his life up to the time of the crime “continuously was about the betterment of society.”
“This is a rather inexplicable event,” he said.