Paul Teutul Sr., founder of Orange County Choppers Holdings Inc., filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy for the company's merchandising unit last week in Poughkeepsie, NY. The filing will be used to help liquidate assets to pay off creditors. The merchandising unit provided OCC apparel that at one time was flying off the shelves during peak popularity of the family's television show "American Chopper."
According to documents related to the filing, the OCC merchandising branch known as Hudson Valley Merchandising LLC owes roughly $1.44 million in liabilities with assets valued at $1.12 million. The filing only includes the merchandising unit, not OCC the parent. A trustee will be appointed for the liquidation process.
Orange County Choppers is a family-owned custom motorcycle business. "American Chopper" is a reality television show that ended in December 2012 after 10 years. It followed antics and interactions of the family as they created custom motorcycles from their shop. The show's ratings tumbled long before the show was cancelled. The custom theme bikes along with the TV show were main forms of income for the merchandising unit.
The Teutuls have had their share of visits to the courthouse. Fans of the show followed Paul Sr. and his son Paul Jr. during their family conflicts over the years with father and son filing lawsuits against each other in 2007. Last year OCC had foreclosure threats to its parent company location in Newburgh, on its 92,000 sq. ft. glass and steel property.