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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. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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