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Bankruptcy delays collection effort

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

Former East Chicago Mayor Robert Pastrick has filed for bankruptcy, putting on hold the state’s attempt to seize his property to help pay off the $108 million he owes from a civil racketeering default judgment against him.

On Dec. 17, the former mayor filed a notice for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, just one day after the state AG obtained a writ of execution allowing federal marshals to seize his home and property in northern Indiana. U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher Nuechterlein in Hammond had granted a request for the seizure of personal property, art, bonds, and jewelry, but he withdrew that writ following the bankruptcy filing.

This is the latest development in a long-standing case against the former mayor and other East Chicago officials, who were a part of a sidewalks-for-votes fraud scheme that involved the use of $24 million in city money to pave patios, sidewalks, driveways, and remove trees in exchange for 1999 primary votes. Pastrick and two former top aides were found guilty last year of running a corrupt enterprise under federal racketeering statutes, and a federal judge in March ordered a default judgment totaling more than $108 million.

In his bankruptcy filing, Pastrick says his assets are valued from $100,000 to $500,000 and his debt is more than $100 million. The only creditors he lists are the Indiana Attorney General’s Office and the Indianapolis law firm of Rubin & Levin that’s representing the state in its case against Pastrick.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller contends the judgment should not be dischargeable in bankruptcy and that this is just another attempt by Pastrick to avoid accountability and stall the collection process.

A meeting of Pastrick creditors is scheduled for Jan. 25, according to the federal court docket.

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  1. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  2. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  3. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

  4. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  5. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

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