Troubled Tri-Cities businessman wants bankruptcy judge to erase up to $10 million in debts

Kris Lapp, owner of I-3 Global in Kennewick, receives the award for the Department of Energy’s Protege of the Year in 2017. He recently filed for personal bankruptcy protection.
Kris Lapp, owner of I-3 Global in Kennewick, receives the award for the Department of Energy’s Protege of the Year in 2017. He recently filed for personal bankruptcy protection. Courtesy Department of Energy

A troubled Tri-Cities businessman has filed for personal bankruptcy after being the target of three lawsuits in the past month.

Kristopher Lapp is seeking to have all of his debts discharged, or cleared, through the Chapter 7 filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

The petition, filed May 15, says Lapp is formerly doing business as i-3 Global.

It puts his assets at $500,001 to $1 million, and his liabilities at $1,000,001 to $10 million. He said the majority of those debts are connected to the business.

Lapp and his Kennewick company — which did subcontracting work at the Hanford nuclear reservation — have been sued in recent weeks by Integrated Global Staffing of Kennewick, Columbia State Bank and E2 Consulting Engineers of California.

Claims in the three Benton County Superior Court actions total more than $1.8 million. Trials for those lawsuits are scheduled a year out.

One dozen secured creditors

The bankruptcy case has been assigned to federal Judge Frank L. Kurtz. The first “meeting of creditors” is set for July 9 at Richland’s Federal Building.

The listed creditors are Fluor Federal Services, Integrated Global Staffing, E & S Engineering, 1st Security Bank, Chase Visa, Columbia State Bank, E2 Consulting Engineers, TD Ameritrade and the Internal Revenue Service.

It also shows a Seattle attorney who specializes in commercial litigation and a Pasco man who owns a limited liability company.

The petition says that after any exempt property is excluded and administrative expenses are paid, Lapp does not expect any funds to be available to distribute to unsecured creditors.

Lapp hired William Hames on the bankruptcy action and paid $7,500 to the Kennewick attorney to handle “negotiations with secured creditors to reduce to market value ... and preparation and filing of motions pursuant to (federal law) for avoidance of lien on household goods,” according to the petition.

No assessed value of Kennewick home

Lapp owns a four-bedroom, 2,624-square-foot home on West Payette Avenue in Kennewick, overlooking Highway 240 and the Columbia Park Golf Links along the Columbia River.

Kris Lapp.jpg

The property was assessed at $126,000 when he bought it for $95,000 in October 2017, according to the statutory warranty deed.

Construction on the home was finished in October 2018, according to Kennewick Building Services.

The Benton County Assessor’s Office only shows the land value for the property at $80,000. The home value will show for 2020 taxes, after the home has been in existence for an entire tax year.

Lapp serves on Richland’s economic development committee and the Columbia Basin College Foundation board. He applied earlier this year for a vacancy on the Kennewick City Council, but was not picked.

He writes a Facebook food blog called “lappdaddyapproved, and used to run Swagger Creative Consulting for party planning and special occasions.

He also is a co-founder of Solar Spirits, a Richland distillery.

Lawsuits for work services, bank loan

Lapp formed i-3 Global more than five years ago to provide information technology, staffing, and creative and media services to federal and commercial clients.

In 2017, the company was recognized by the Department of Energy Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization as the 2016 Protege of the Year. The mentor-protege program encourages large DOE contractors to help small, disadvantaged businesses.

“Our company is on a mission to showcase the positive aspects of the work being done at Hanford and the tremendous amount of tech talent in our great community,” Lapp said at the time.

The first lawsuit against Lapp and i-3 Global was filed April 26 by Integrated Global Staffing, a subcontractor that claims it is owed nearly $450,000 for work at Hanford.

Then on May 2, Columbia State Bank sued for $883,000 over a loan, along with interest and appraisal fees.

And on May 13, E2 Consulting Engineers accused Lapp of pocketing $505,000 instead of paying for staff members it had working at Hanford on behalf of i-3 Global.

That third lawsuit states that i-3 Global notified Mission Support Alliance on April 11 that it could no longer continue providing services, even as it encouraged E2 Consulting Engineers to continue with its services.

Kristin M. Kraemer covers the judicial system and crime issues for the Tri-City Herald. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years in Washington and California.