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Bankruptcy doesn't eliminate judgment

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

The Indiana attorney general’s office doesn’t think the former East Chicago mayor hit with a $108 million racketeering judgment stemming from public corruption should be able to avoid paying back that amount by declaring bankruptcy.

On March 25, the state agency filed a 22-page complaint against ex-mayor Robert A. Pastrick in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Indiana, alleging that five provisions of the federal bankruptcy law exempt this debt from being eligible for discharge through bankruptcy.

A federal judge in March 2010 imposed the $108,007,584.33 judgment against Pastrick and his ex-aides, who admitted their roles in a “sidewalks for votes” scheme. That scheme involved using $24 million in public money to pay for sidewalks and concrete paving in exchange for votes in the city’s 1999 primary election. The AG’s office has been working to collect that money, but Pastrick in December filed for bankruptcy to avoid paying the amount.

In the new complaint, the AG’s office contends that Pastrick’s theft, abuse of power while in office, and federal racketeering means the $108 million can’t be dismissed through bankruptcy proceedings. The AG argues the debt shouldn’t be discharged because of U.S. Bankruptcy Code sections 523(a)(6), 523(a)(4), 523(a)(7), 523(a)(13), and 523(a)(2)(A).

The federal docket shows attorneys are still entering appearances and no future court hearings have been set.•

Rehearing "Bankruptcy delays collection effort" IL Jan. 5-18, 2011

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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

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

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