Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Postscript: Nifong Bankruptcy Filing

Bloomberg News is reporting that former DA Mike Nifong has filed for bankruptcy in an apparent attempt to shield himself from the looming civil suits.

Reporter Dawn McCarty adds, "If a bankruptcy judge decides that the prosecution was willful and malicious, the debt to the players would not be erased under federal bankruptcy law."

Nifong claims more than $180 million(!) in debts--while also suggesting that he has no cash on hand, computer or audio equipment, or even audio CD's.


Anonymous said...

If I'm not mistaken, bankruptcy does NOT protect Fong from debts incurred by intentional wrongdoing (as opposed to negligence). I believe the plaintiffs/creditors will make a Motion to exempt any such judgments from protection under bankruptcy.

Unfortunately, collecting will be another matter, since most of that dirtbag's income will be in the form of lawsuit-exempt pension checks, and presumably a lot of his assets are in his wife's name, or otherwise protected or made less accessible. But at least, if there's ever a judgment, Nifong will stand revealed as the irresponsible deadbeat that he is. in addition to being a liar and a crook.

Anonymous said...

Nifong effort will fail. Again that 1 day in jail convection is proof of willful misconduct. The Bankruptcy judge doesn't even need to discuss it. Lying to the court is proof of willful misconduct. No judge will OK lying to a court.

That conviction is like an albatross around Nifong's neck. He was already refused aid from the state in the lawsuit for the same reason.


Anonymous said...

A copy of the bankruptcy petition can be viewed here:


Anonymous said...

The bankruptcy petition claims debts of $30 million to each of six lacrosse players: the three accused and the three who sued Duke and Nifong last month.

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

Glad to see him pay a further price.

Anonymous said...

What a difference a year makes! He is a pathetic bottom dweller!!


Dan Weber said...

There are quite a few $1 claimants out there among his creditors. Is that common?

The $30M claims are to each of Breck Archer, Collin Finnerty, David Evans, Reade Seligmann, Ryan McFayden, and Matthew Wilson. That's $180M total.

The $1 claims include DNA Security, Dr. Brian Mechan, Dan Flannery, Ben Himan, David Addison, Richard Brodhead, Duke U, Duke Health Systems, Duke PD, Linwood Wilson, Mark Gottlieb, Matthew Drummond, Private Diagnostic Clinic, Tara Levicy, and the City of Durham. People more familiar with the case can probably recognize more of the names. If you don't, there's probably some good dirt there.

He's also listed $8897.71 owed to the NC State Bar. Lulz.

His wife makes $86K per year. Mike is getting $60K per year in his pension.

Wow, they still buy life insurance.

$1000 a month on food. Wow. That's more than they pay in credit card debt ($750).

Anonymous said...

He will probably move to Florida with OJ - a debtor's paradise. Or maybe he can practice law in Costa Rica. Either way, the plantiffs will not see one red dime from the fong.

traveler said...

Drudge Report headline:
Mike Nifong Bankrupt; Disgraced Duke prosecutor lists $180M in liabilities...

Which means it will be read by millions more. The headline tracks back to an article in “Smoking Gun.”

I would guess all the legal blogs will have an opinion on this latest Nifong maneuver. Duke is ‘moving on’ all right, to a new headline story a week, or so it seems.

Be sure and check out the Chronicle:
The end of the affair
with all deliberate speed
By: Kristin Butler
The comments are very lively to say the least.

KCR said...

I remember watching Nifong's trial, and my only disappointment there was that no one called him out on his willful deception. The judge who was presiding over the case called him out on willfully withholding pertinent potentially exculpatory evidence, but pointedly refused to argue that Nifong HIMSELF knew exactly what he was doing. To the contrary, the judge kind of said, "I don't know what the hell was going on in your mind when you withheld portions of the DNA results, but it was wrong."

In other words, the judge for the duration of the trial refused to go inside Nifong's head and say that his actions were malicious. As well, Nifong's actions were deceitful, but he again refused to say that Nifong intentionally deceived.

Nifong didn't admit to any wrongdoing other than that he had very generically "made mistakes." That, coupled with his intimations that "something happened" even as he was on trial leaves open the defense that his mistakes were shortsighted, rather than malicious.

Anonymous said...

The Smoking Gun has the summary sheets of the filing:


Jhn1 said...

A friend's father tried the "transfer the assets into the wife's name" gag. She waited until he was in jail for loan fraud, then divorced him. He didn't even have money for a divorce attorney. She kept everything.

That said, this is part of why multiple parties are named in a civil suit.
Deep pockets laws.
If the city of Durham is part of the same suit, and is found at least part culpable, they could well be on the hook for the entire judgment.
Since the voters returned him to office after just how bad he violated the law was exposed, it should be seen as confirmation by the populace of just what he did to everybody he violated. And if they agree with what he did, then certainly they cannot object to paying for it too.

Anonymous said...

The Bloomberg also says:

"``This stops all the cases against him so he doesn't have to pay legal fees if he doesn't have insurance.''"


"``They'll argue his mishandling of their prosecution was motivated by maliciousness and willfulness.''

That won't be easy to prove, said Evan Flascher, a New York- based bankruptcy lawyer. ``It's a tough standard. "

So lets not assume the conviction would mean anything. If it was that transparent, he'd find something else.

Anonymous said...

Lest any one start to feel sympathetic just remind yourself that he knowingly attempted to destroy the lives of innocents for purely selfish reasons and inflamed race relations in the entire nation.

Ambitious prosecuters looking to cut corners in politically correct cases take note of his fate.

Anonymous said...

Why are various duke administrators listed as creditors for $1 each?

Ad Orientem said...

How does a county DA come up with $180M in liabilities? Holy cow!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how the $1 creditor thing works. My guess is that most are codefendant with Nifong in the civil suits that could have potential cross claims against Nifong for all or some part of the amounts they eventually pay out.

Anonymous said...

IF there hasn't been a trial yet and he has not been found guilty yet and lost the lawsuit at the cost of $180 million....how can he claim that as current debt? Is already admitting guilt prior to the trial?

Dan Weber said...

Why are various duke administrators listed as creditors for $1 each?

He's being proactive in setting up a defense against them. I don't know the reasons for the $1 value, but presumably it would be a barrier against, say, Tara Levicy saying "you set me up! I'm gonna sue!"

It's basically a Who's Who of the case. Anyone who Mike ever screwed is listed. Anyone who ever did something for Mike is listed.

If you don't recognize a name in there, it's probably someone we didn't know helped Mike.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation, dan weber. Interesting...

DKnight said...

I also noticed in the bankruptcy filing that every one of the Lacrosse players from the '06 season is listed as a creditor with $1 (disputed) but the six players that actually have suits filed are listed for $30 M each and NO disputed marked next to the claim.

It's also weird that he claims only $500 in personal effects. Heck, any trial lawyer would be ashamed to own/wear a dress suit that costs less than that! What gives?

I agree with the other comments that he's trying the dirty old trick of placing all of his liquid assets in his spouse's name before declaring bankruptcy. Isn't there any law in NC against hiding your real net worth that way?

Debrah said...

I have to agree with Kristen Butler.

The aftermath of the Lacrosse Hoax will go on for years.

Mostly because the people responsible for concocting it and then sustaining it.....(even when the entire country could see that the case was pure fiction).....are the types of characters who are so steeped in unethical behavior that they will not come to terms, fully, with the fact that justice has found them.

Nifong is a glaring example of so many in Durham and at Duke who will go their graves making believe that they did nothing wrong.....intentionally.

KC will have enough material for about three more books before this is really over.

If then.

Anonymous said...

Instead of an extra $15,000 in your pension fund, you had to file bankrupt which will affect your credit reports for the rest of you life. My question for Nifong, "Was it really worth going after the 3 innocent men for extra $15,000?"

Anthony Leonson said...

I actually feel kinda bad for him. It's not like killed someone.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe Nifong was after an extra fifteen thousand - he wanted to be DA - besides the money is exempt from judgements and what does he care about a credit report at his age?

Anonymous said...

Anthony --

It's also not like he stayed within the law.

It's also not like he upheld the oath he swore to protect the innocent, instead of persecuting them to fatten his pension.

It's not even as if he committed his multiple crimes in an unpremeditated fashion, giving in to a moment's weakness.

Save your sympathy. He is already awarding himself far more sympathy than he deserves.

TaterCon said...

A few comments on a few of the comments:

Dan Weber is correct in saying Nifong's listing of $1 creditors is a proactive move, or more aptly, a preemptive strike. Listing these folks now puts them to the task of responding to the "Notice to Creditors" if they want to try to preserve any claims against Nifong -- otherwise, IF Nifong gets a discharge in bankruptcy of his listed debts and potential debts, those who were named as creditors, including the $1 ones, will be barred from further pursuit of those debts.

As for the $500 value ascribed to the personal effects (including the lawyer's courtroom clothing!), that's a kinda standard "round number" for such items, most often seen in listings of a decedant's personal effects in an estate inventory. It's usually there with "$1,000" in "household furnishings" ... an estimate of fair market value for the entire lot of used items, especially where no one is likely to take the time to contest it. DKnight, would you pay more than 25 bucks for one of Nifong's blue blazers at a yard sale?

As for Mr. Leonson's comment, right above mine -- dude, are you kidding? That's about the dumbest thing yet to be posted on the Wonderland comments board.... ya feel sorry for Nifong when he only tried to ruin innocent people for his personal gain, because he didn't finish the job by murdering them?????

Oh well. Maybe you're the ideal juror the defense attorneys will be looking to see at the civil suits trials....


mac said...


Wonder how much NoFang's guitar is worth?

Anonymous said...

With the amount of defaults and bankruptcy claime, Nifong is just another guy in the filings.

TaterCon said...

Wonder how much NoFang's guitar is worth?
Mac, on 1/17/08 @ 10:11 AM

Dunno, Mac. We'll have to wait 'til he cuts his first CD ...


Anonymous said...

I think it's time for Nifong to bring in the 'big guns' for his legal team. How 'bout Karla Holloway. She's a lawyer (isn't she?).

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that this blog is alive again. Thank you KC for all the latest analyses.
Was Liefong's filing for bankruptcy expected?
Considering the irreparable damage he caused three innocent people his punishment should be years in prison and/or forfeiture of his pension. Am I wrong?