20 year Fact Check

Any statement made by Brian Darnell the owner of Darnell Construction, (also dba Darnell Group, Prodigy Restoration Group, Design-Build St. Louis, Brian Darnell, Darnell-Group Design.Build.Remodel, and probably some other names,) deserves a measure of caution before believing it to be factual.

Darnell pronounces to the public that he and Darnell Construction have been providing construction services in St. Charles and St. Louis for 20 years.  On the Better Business Bureau website is states “20 years in business”.

BBB website snapshot of darnell construction
BBB website

To see how accurate this is go to the Missouri Secretary of State website and do a business entity search for “Darnell Construction”, here’s what is returned:

Darnell Construction business registration
Darnell Construction business registration

According to the Missouri Secretary of State business entity records Darnell Construction LLC, with a registered agent of Brian C. Darnell, was created in November 2016.

Forming a business in 2016 and then claiming in 2017 to have been in business for 20 years, that does not seem to be honest.

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Brian Darnell Bankruptcy Record Summary
Brian Darnell Bankruptcy Record Summary

The Court records show that Brian Darnell filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2002 and the bankruptcy action finished in June 2003.

[text_block unique_id=”2dc75e9d85236f5351066fcbfede9272″ text_advanced_styling=”{‹²›text‹²›:{‹²›google_font‹²›:true,‹²›subset‹²›:‹²›latin‹²›,‹²›variation‹²›:‹²›regular‹²›,‹²›family‹²›:‹²›Quattrocento Sans‹²›,‹²›style‹²›:false,‹²›weight‹²›:false,‹²›size‹²›:‹²›16.5‹²›,‹²›line-height‹²›:‹²›28‹²›,‹²›letter-spacing‹²›:‹²›0‹²›,‹²›color-palette‹²›:{‹²›id‹²›:‹²›fw-custom‹²›,‹²›color‹²›:‹²›‹²›},‹²›is_saved‹²›:false}}” text=”‹¨›p‹˜›From the FindLaw website:‹¯›nbsp;‹¨›em‹˜›Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection allows debtors to get rid of most of their debts and start over with a clean slate.‹¨›/em‹˜›‹¨›/p‹˜›” animation_group=”{‹²›selected‹²›:‹²›no‹²›,‹²›yes‹²›:{‹²›animation‹²›:{‹²›animation‹²›:‹²›fadeInUp‹²›,‹²›delay‹²›:‹²›200‹²›}}}” responsive=”{‹²›desktop_display‹²›:{‹²›selected‹²›:‹²›yes‹²›},‹²›tablet_landscape_display‹²›:{‹²›selected‹²›:‹²›yes‹²›},‹²›tablet_display‹²›:{‹²›selected‹²›:‹²›yes‹²›},‹²›smartphone_display‹²›:{‹²›selected‹²›:‹²›yes‹²›}}” class=”” __fw_editor_shortcodes_id=”12c70acff2dbbf8a602892cc6dc9a6b1″ _array_keys=”{‹²›text_advanced_styling‹²›:‹²›text_advanced_styling‹²›,‹²›animation_group‹²›:‹²›animation_group‹²›,‹²›responsive‹²›:‹²›responsive‹²›}” _fw_coder=”aggressive”][/text_block] 

Then again in 2010 Brian Darnell filed for bankruptcy once more, this time as Chapter 13.

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The records show that in 2014 the bankruptcy protection was dismissed for failure to make plan payments, then a mandatory waiting period of 6 months had to pass, after which Darnell petitioned to re-enter Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Brian Darnell was allowed to go back into bankruptcy and there he has stayed ever since, as of this post in 2018 Darnell is still bankrupt.

Pulling this information together, here is how things line up:

Darnell Timeline of Events
Darnell Timeline of Events

If we assume Darnell starts some sort of construction and remodeling business around 1999 we see that it is only about 3 years later when he files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Boom, all debts that have been run up for the prior years are now wiped away and he’s got a fresh start.

Approximately 7 years pass during which we can assume Brian Darnell has again accumulated debts that he cannot repay, but now with Chapter 7 bankruptcy requirements being tighter Chapter 13 bankruptcy is entered.  Darnell enters Ch. 13 bankruptcy in 2010 and as stated above, has essentially remained there ever since.

Along the way he has started to rack up lawsuits with his businesses, but since he is personally in bankruptcy he has unusual protections from the Bankruptcy Court.  He’s also been featured on KMOV Channel 4 News when Investigative Reporter Chris Nagus dug into Brian Darnell’s misdeeds.

The bottom line is, whether the claim about being in business for 20 years is true or not, which is does not appear to be according to the Missouri Secretary of State business records, the fact remains that for nearly half of those 20 years of being in business, Brian Darnell has been in bankruptcy.  

There’s a business tagline; doing business in St. Louis and St. Charles counties with Bankruptcy protection for 10 Years!

As a consumer how do you apply this to your personal crooked contractor situation?  If you encounter a contractor that you suspect to be personally in bankruptcy stay far away.  Contracts will become meaningless because even if you win a lawsuit for breach of contract, like we did, the crooked contractor will easily say they aren’t going to pay your judgement, as Brian Darnell did with us.  Because Darnell is in bankruptcy there are already a host of other debtors waiting to be paid what he owes them, and they all want their money but have to go through the courts.

A crooked contractor like Brian Darnell uses the bankruptcy protection that is supposed to help the person get their finances back in order to swindle people.  It take a person of low morals and ethics to do such a thing, and that is just what a crooked contractor is.