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U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Walter J. Krasniewski Wednesday granted...

TOLEDO, Ohio -- U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Walter J. Krasniewski Wednesday granted the trustee of the Bell & Beckwith brokerage authority to operate businesses assigned to him as part of the firm's bankruptcy proceedings.

In his order, Krasniewski said he granted the request made Tuesday by Patrick McGraw 'to preserve the value of the assets of the businesses.'

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McGraw, the order said, will operate the businesses until they can be liquidated.

Bell & Beckwith, a Toledo-based brokerage with several offices in northwest Ohio, was closed Feb. 5 by court order following the discovery that the firm was insolvent with shortages of $36 million.

The businesses McGraw will oversee were owned by Zula J. Wolfram and her husband, Edward P. Wolfram, Jr.

Wolfram was a partner with Bell & Beckwith and managed the accounts in which the $36 million shortage was found. The Wolframs have turned over their assets to the trustee for use in settling the brokerage's debts.

The assets assigned to McGraw include the Wolframs' interests in Mark III Corp., T-Z Land & Cattle, Inc., and Arrowhead Exploration Company.

Mark III Corp. is the operating company of the Landmark hotel-casino complex in Nevada.

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