Sunday, August 11, 2013

Mississippi Attorney Gets 46 Months For Bankruptcy Scheme Used To Hide His Fraudulently Snatching Of Property Co-Owned With Business Partner, Then Pocketing Proceeds From Subsequent Refinance

From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Jackson, Mississippi):
  • Michael E. Earwood, 61, an attorney from Madison, Mississippi, was sentenced [] in U.S. District Court to 46 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for bankruptcy fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis, [and others]. Earwood was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $792,228.53.

    Earwood previously pled guilty to devising and executing a scheme to obtain money from a business partner by falsely representing that the money would be used to maintain real property owned by Kinwood Capitol Group.

    He admitted transferring title to the real property assets of the business without the knowledge and consent of his business partner, who held a majority interest in the assets of the business.

    Earwood admitted that he transferred these assets to his own company named Northlake Development. He then used that property as collateral for bank loans to Northlake Development but still continued to solicit money from the business partner for a period of time.

    Earwood admitted that when the bank attempted to foreclose on the Northlake Development loan, he placed Northlake Development into bankruptcy and continued to conceal the unauthorized transactions from his business partner and the banks from which he had obtained loans.(1)
For the U.S. Attorney press release, see Madison Attorney Sentenced in Bankruptcy Fraud Scheme.

(1) Don't feel bad for the business partner who co-owned the property with this thief. As it turns out, the deed used to snatch the property was found to be void and having no legal effect (as opposed to merely voidable). Consequently, the business partner dodged the financial hit, and it was the bank that made the loan (and/or the title insurance company that issued the title policy) that was left holding the bag. For more, see Voidable Or Void Ab Initio (Or "Void Unless & Until Later Ratified")?