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Bankruptcy, embezzlement charges complicate finalized divorce

On behalf of Law Office of Ann A. Thomson, A Professional Law Corporation posted on Monday, January 28, 2013.

On Dec. 30, 2010, the divorce between a financial firm’s long-time chief executive officer and his wife was finalized. The two had been married for approximately 24 years before they decided to end the relationship. A multi-million dollar divorce settlement was reached between the parties in a divorce that would certainly be considered a high-asset dissolution under anyone’s standards.

An initial lump-sum payment was transferred to the ex-wife only a day after the divorce was finalized. That lump sum amounted to just over $2.4 million, and approximately another $20,000 per month for a year after. It was at this point that the money stopped being paid when bankruptcy papers were filed.

Why did the ex-husband run out of money? It was criminal charges that had played a role. At some point during the past few years, an investigation had begun against the executive for his role in the embezzlement of funds from the firm for over 20 years. He has since pleaded guilty to the charges and awaits sentencing in court.

The real problem for the ex-wife has been in regard to the bankruptcy. With the admission of guilt in the embezzlement of over $215 million, the bankruptcy court has now filed a lawsuit against the ex-wife seeking a return of the funds already paid to her, claiming that the money was part of the ill-gotten gains from the criminal scheme. The bankruptcy trustee also sought in the lawsuit to deny the request the wife made as creditor to the bankruptcy estate.

Source: News & Insight, “Peregrine Financial’s ex-CEO’s ex-wife sued over divorce money,” Ann Saphir, Jan. 28, 2013


From offices in Seal Beach, the Law Office of Ann A. Thomson serves clients throughout Southern California in communities such as Seal Beach, Santa Ana, Brea, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Corona Del Mar, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, Mission Viejo, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Anaheim, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Norwalk, Torrance, Rancho Palos Verdes and Los Angeles.