Entries in Bankruptcy (4)


Casey Anthony Files for Bankruptcy in Florida

Red Huber-Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Casey Anthony has filed for bankruptcy protection in Florida.

The 26-year-old, who has been in hiding since she was acquitted 18 months ago of murdering her daughter, is seeking relief from a mountain of legal fees, penalties and back taxes.

Anthony filed the motion Friday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. According to the filing, Anthony has $1,084 in the bank and owes nearly $800,000, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The bulk of Anthony's debt -- $500,000 -- is attorney's fees and costs for her defense during her high-profile murder trial.

Anthony also owes $145,660 to the Orange County Sheriff's Office for investigative fees related to the case because she misled them during the investigation; $68,540 to the Internal Revenue Service; and $61,505 in court costs.

The filing also mentions that Anthony is a defendant in several ongoing civil suits, including one filed by Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez for defamation.

Anthony told detectives in 2008 that her daughter, Caylee, had been kidnapped by a nanny named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez.

Authorities found the woman did not exist, but a Florida woman sharing a name with the fictitious nanny filed suit against Anthony.

Gonzalez said she lost her job and was evicted from her house as a result of Anthony's tale. The two women did not know each other.

Anthony later told authorities her daughter had drowned.

Roy Kronk, the meter reader who found the body of 2-year-old Caylee, and Texas EquuSearch, a group that spent more than $100,000 searching for the missing toddler, are also suing Anthony, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

On Friday, a Florida appeals court overturned two of Anthony's four lying convictions for misleading authorities.

Anthony completed her one-year probation for check fraud in August, leaving her free to go wherever she pleases. She resurfaced a few times over the past year via a leaked video diary and a telephone conversation with Piers Morgan, but has otherwise succeeded in disappearing from the public eye.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


American Airlines Delays Leave Passengers Waiting

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- American Airlines passengers have seen many delays in recent weeks, including a four-hour delay when two flight attendants reportedly argued about a cell phone.

One flight attendant went so far as to announce on the public address system that all passengers had to turn off their cell phones, "including the other flight attendant," according to a local television report in Washington.

The dispute, according to a local television report, forced the captain to turn back from a runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and find a new crew before resuming the flight.

Delays Thursday at New York airports, however, were all labor-related.

American, whose parent company has filed for bankruptcy protection, was forced to delay nearly 40 percent of its flights, with most forced to be late or even cancelled by an "unprecedented and very significant" increase in maintenance issues.

ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz experienced the problem firsthand Thursday.

"We go out to the runway to take off and the pilot comes on and says, 'Sorry, we have a mechanical problem,'" she said. "The motor that starts the engine is not working [and] we have to go back."

ABC News has learned the FAA is concerned enough to have stepped up scrutiny of American during its bankruptcy. So far, there is no indication safety has been compromised, but federal monitors are making more ramp checks and fly-alongs with pilots to make sure.

Thursday's flights were punctual only 64 percent of the time, compared to the normal 82 percent for September.

In a statement to ABC News, American apologized to customers but blamed pilots for the delays.

"The recent disruptions are primarily due to the significant increase in maintenance write-ups by our pilots, many right at the time of departure," the statement read.

These "disruptions" led to 547 delays on Thursday. On a normal day, the airline sees about 100 delays.

The airline added that pilots are calling in sick 20 percent more than normal, which "impacts the availability of reserve pilots, which can ultimately lead to cancellations."

The pilots union said there is no sanctioned work action under way and disagreed with American's accounting of sick leave and crew cancellations.

"We have verified that pilot sick rates have not deviated from normal historical rates," said the Allied Pilots Association, which represents American Airline's 10,000 pilots. "We have likewise verified that crew cancellations remain at normal rates."

Instead, the union blamed the unreliability on mechanical problems within the airline, saying it "isn't surprising," given the large number of furloughed mechanics and closing of "one of its largest maintenance facilities."

The Wall Street Journal's travel editor, Scott McCartney, took the rare step of warning would-be passengers to fly another carrier.

"My advice is until things get straightened out with the operations, if you have a choice you ought to book another airline," McCartney said. "It's just not worth it."

The airline pre-cancelled 300 flights this week, hoping to re-accommodate passengers in advance. It also has reduced its schedule by one to two percent through October.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Harrisburg Joins List of Cities Filing for Bankruptcy

Hemera/Thinkstock(HARRISBURG, Pa.) -- Harrisburg, Pa., facing $458 million in creditors and claims, has declared bankruptcy, becoming the sixth municipality to seek a Chapter 9 filing this year.

Harrisburg’s City Council voted 4-3 on Tuesday to file for bankruptcy, though the city attorney noted that the correct procedure was not followed, and thus the filing would not be binding, according to Bloomberg. Harrisburg, the state’s capital, faces a state takeover of its finances.

The outcome of this filing is uncertain, with court and state action likely to contest the filing, according to a note by Alan Schankel, managing director of Janney Capital Markets.

Harrisburg fell victim to the “incinerator from hell” -- a waste-to-energy incinerator whose renovation caused the town to go $310 million into debt, five times as much money as the city has in its general fund, according to the Stateline newspaper. In December, Pennsylvania declared the city financially distressed.

The state’s Senate is scheduled to vote next week on a bill permitting Pennsylvania to place the city into receivership, which the governor said he would sign, forcing it to follow the state’s proposed recovery plan.

Few cities actually declare bankruptcy protection. Since 1937, when Chapter 9 filings first became an option for municipalities, there have been only 625 filings, according to Chicago attorney James Spiotto, who has written books on the subject. Including Harrisburg, six communities this year have filed for bankruptcy. Six filed in 2010.

Boise County, Idaho filed for bankruptcy in March and Central Falls, R.I., filed on Aug. 1.

Vallejo, Calif., declared bankruptcy in May 2008 and is still emerging from it. Jefferson County, Ala., narrowly avoided bankruptcy after a three-year battle over a $3.1 billion sewer debt. On Sept. 16, Jefferson County Commissioners approved a settlement with creditors avoiding what would have been the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


A Rhode Island City Turns to Pensioners to Avoid Bankruptcy

Comstock/Thinkstock(CENTRAL FALLS, R.I.) -- Central Falls, R.I.'s motto is "city with a bright future," but now its tomorrows are not only bleak, they could be nonexistent.

The densely packed community of 19,000, comprising an area a little larger than a square mile, faces bankruptcy and is calling on its bravest and finest for help.

The city's 141 retired firefighters and police officers were asked at a meeting Tuesday night to voluntarily give up as much as half of their pensions. It's called the "big ask," and with the library and community center already shut down, the city is running out of options to fix its dire financial prospects.

"It came as a shock yesterday [Tuesday] when it was presented to the pensioners," said William Zachary Malinowski, who has reported for the Providence Journal for 26 years. "If they don't give up a good chunk, they may end up with nothing."

The city faces $80 million in unfunded pensions and benefit programs, and a $5 million to $6 million deficit that shows no sign of decreasing in the coming years.

Under the proposed pension plan, anyone who retired at age 55 after 30 years on the job would see their pension cut in half from about $40,000 to about $20,000 a year.

Col. Joseph Moran served 27 years on the police force, contributing seven percent of his salary each month. Now retired, he stands to lose $1,000 a month. Making matters worse, workers here didn't participate in Social Security, so there are no other benefits to fall back on.

If retirees refuse the "big ask," Central Falls will likely have to declare bankruptcy, jeopardizing the entire pension system.

"I would advise a haircut looks better than a beheading," said a state-appointed receiver, Robert G. Flanders Jr.

Flanders would like a decision from the pensioners in the next seven days, Malinowski told ABC News.

"I could be wrong, but I don't see them taking it," Malinowski said. "I think this ends in bankruptcy."

Central Falls is not the first city to run out of the money needed to pay its retirees. In 2009, Prichard, Ala., stopped sending out pension checks to its 150 retired workers.

With the economy still sputtering and city budgets collapsing, similar "big asks" and broken promises could be coming to more towns.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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