A good way to screw up a bankruptcy case, part 2

It probably goes without saying that debtors should take care to file their bankruptcy under their own names and social security numbers — you wouldn’t want an accidental (or purposeful) mistake in this regard!

Since 2002, the first order of business at every debtor’s creditors meeting is to check the debtor’s photo ID and social security card.

Why anyone would come up with a scam involving filing a bankruptcy case under someone else’s name is beyond me, but I am probably not a “scam-oriented” as I should be.

Anyway, in Washington, DC this week, allegations of this kind of behaviour are being levied against a federal judge from New Orleans, Gabriel Thomas Porteous. Judge Porteous is having an impeachment trial in a Senate hearing room. It is the first impeachment trial since the Clinton spectacle in the late 1990’s, and the first of a sitting federal judge since the late 1980’s.

Judge Porteous, said to have ongoing battles with alcohol and gambling, faces four articles of impeachment, that include charges that Porteous lied on his 2001 bankruptcy petition and to FBI agents who were conducting background checks after he was nominated to the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

The judge’s secretary also paid the judge’s gambling markers at casinos, she testified, after he and his wife filed for bankruptcy in 2001, initially under false names. Prosecutors charge Porteous accumulated thousands of additional gambling debt after the filing and never disclosed it to the bankruptcy court.

The other charges agaisnt the judge involve taking money from bail-bondsmen in exchange for favorable results in court decisions.

Obviously, if you file a bankruptcy case, you don’t want it to end up like this!

With more than 15 years of bankruptcy experience in the Lawrence area, I do my best to keep my clients away from messes like this, so they can start rebuilding their lives quickly!


By Doug Beaton

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