Harrisburg, IL woman pleads guilty to bankruptcy fraud


A Harrisburg, Illinois woman pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud.

Charges were filed against 51-year-old Rietta M. Miller on January 30 as part of the US Attorneys Offices effort to crackdown on those who commit fraud in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

Miller was charged with concealing assets in her bankruptcy case.

In pleading guilty on Friday, February 17, Miller admitted that she concealed from the Bankruptcy Court a $47,736.12 workers compensation settlement she received approximately one month before she filed bankruptcy.

Miller acknowledged that she tried to conceal this money from the Bankruptcy Court by moving the funds in and our of her bank accounts. She also admitted that she lied on the bankruptcy petition and schedules she filed with the Bankruptcy Court, and again when she was asked questions under oath at a Meeting of Creditors held in your bankruptcy case.

Millers chapter 7 bankruptcy case was filed and litigated in the United States Bankruptcy Court in Benton, Ill.

Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 18 at 10:30 am at the federal courthouse in Benton, Ill. The crime of concealing assets in a bankruptcy case is punishable by up to five years of imprisonment, and/or a $250,000 fine, not more than three years of supervised release and restitution.

The charges resulted from a referral by the US Trustee for Indiana and Southern and Central Illinois to the US Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois.

The investigation was conducted by agents from the Springfield Division, Fairview Heights Resident Agency, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in collaboration with the Southern Illinois Bankruptcy Fraud Working Group coordinated by the US Trustee.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Scott A. Verseman.

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MC Sports begins merchandise sell-off after bankruptcy

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Customers showed up at MC Sports stores across Michigan to cash in on deals offered as the company closes up shop.

A judge approved a bankruptcy plan for MC Sports on Thursday and the well-known sports retailer has begun to sell off merchandise at 68 stores in seven states.

The plan is to sell off all of the merchandise by the end of April or early May.

Bankruptcy Court Approves Stone Energy’s Restructuring Plan

Stone Energy Corp.s pre-packaged restructuring plan to wipe out $1.2 billion in debt was approved this week by the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, bringing the company one step closer to being turned over to its noteholders.

Pending the consent of its creditors, Stone said it expects the restructuring plan to become effective on Feb. 28 once all conditions have been met.

Under the plan, noteholders would receive their share of $100 million in cash, $225 million of 7.5% senior second lien notes due 2022 and 95% of the common stock in the reorganized company. Lenders would receive a proportionate share of commitments under a new $200 million revolving credit facility and a cash payment, while existing stockholders would receive their share of just 5% of the common stock and rights to purchase more.

Included in the approved plan is an Appalachia sale agreement in which EQT Corp. hasagreed to pay $527 million for about 85,000 net acres in the Marcellus and Utica shales of West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Once that sale closes — which is scheduled for Feb. 27 — Stone would be left with offshore assets in the Gulf of Mexico.

Early last year, Stones credit facility wasreduced, which resulted in a borrowing base deficiency and the possibility of default. Low commodity prices in Appalachia squeezed the company as well and it began negotiating the sale of those assets before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last December.

Christian Laettner, former Duke basketball player, faces involuntary bankruptcy

Christian Laettner, a former Duke basketball star whose venture into the business world has left a trail of debt and creditors, could be in bankruptcy court soon if he fails to come up with $14.05 million.

Five of his creditors have started involuntary bankruptcy proceedings against Laettner, a Florida resident.

The action comes five months after Phase II of the West Village mixed-use project in downtown Durham sold for $187 million. One of the businesses that received $28.3 million in proceeds from the sale, Fuller Street Development, lists Laettner as a partner, court records show, though it is unclear how much, if any, Laettner personally received from the deal.

Through the bankruptcy filing delivered to one of Laettner’s lawyers last week, the creditors hope to recoup millions in unpaid debt.

The creditors and the amounts they say they are owed are:

?National Servicing amp; Administration, a limited liability corporation based in Minnesota, where Laettner played for the Timberwolves in the NBA: $7,321,230

?Ernest Sims, III, a former Detroit Lions linebacker: $1,482,730

?Jonathan C. Stewart, a Carolina Panthers running back: $3,629,230

?Park Lane, a sports investment firm started by Andrew Kline, who played for the St. Louis Rams.: $236,193; and

?Damp;F DCU LLC: $1,382,545

“We are optimistic that the funds from the sale of the West Village can be used to reach a global resolution with all of Christian’s creditors,” said Hassan Zavareei, a Washington-based lawyer representing Laettner. “As such, the negotiations are ongoing.”

West Village, set amid the new restaurants, homes and shops revitalizing Durham’s downtown, includes 609 apartments and 104,000 square feet of commercial space. The three-phase project was developed by a partnership that was led by Laettner, his former Duke teammate Brian Davis, and Tom Niemann, a Duke business school graduate.

Laettner, 46, earned a total of $61 million as an NBA player, Nonetheless, he has been mired in financial problems related to subsequent real estate projects, including the ambitious West Village.

In 2012, he was sued for $30 million by former Chicago Bulls stalwart Scottie Pippen and others. Shawne Merriman, a former San Diego Charger and Buffalo Bill, also has had to go to court to pursue money he loaned Laettner.

In an unusual twist, Laettner also sued his own real estate company, Blue Devil Ventures, for $10 million.

Laettner has gone before federal judges numerous times asking for extensions and reprieves to settle his debts for real estate projects in Durham, Baltimore and elsewhere.

In April 2015, Laettner was served foreclosure papers on the $3.65 million mansion he owned on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean in Florida.

After 2012 bankruptcy, a sweet comeback for Hostess

How much is a snack-cake maker worth? If its Hostess Brands, which nearly went out of business just four years ago, that would be about $2.3 billion, according to the terms of a takeover deal announced on Tuesday. And it seems the maker of Twinkies, Ho-Hos and Ding Dongs is in far better financial shape ahead of its coming initial public offering than many investors might assume.

Under the deal with Gores Holdings (GRSH), the special-purposed acquisition company established by private equity firm Gores Group will invest $375 million in cash it raised from an IPO in August 2015. Once the deal closes, now set for later this year, Gores Holdings name will change to Hostess Brands, and its stock will trade under a new ticker symbol.

Gores Group CEO Alec Gores and other Gores affiliates, along with Hostess owner C. Dean Metropoulos, will invest an additional $350 million in the deal. Once the transaction is completed, private equity giant Apollo Global Management (APO) and Metropoulos and his family will hold approximately 42 percent of Gores Holdings. Metropoulos will remain Hostess executive chairman and William Toler will continue as chief executive.