GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A judge rejected a bankruptcy petition filed by the ex-wife of former major leaguer Chad Curtis who was accused of trying to shield her assets from a $1.8 million judgment against Curtis.
A federal judge earlier awarded $1.8 million to a former Lakewood High School student-athlete who was molested by Chad Curtis while he volunteered for the athletic program.
Candace Curtis filed for bankruptcy the same day that a U.S. District Court magistrate recommended that she be made a party to the judgment.
The student-athlete who was awarded the judgment filed a motion to dismiss Candace Curtis’ bankruptcy case.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John Gregg, in an opinion issued Wednesday, Jan. 23, said Candace Curtis did not act in good faith in filing the bankruptcy petition.
The judge noted that the Curtises, in prison recordings, had “discussed shielding their marital assets and respective revocable trusts from (the student-athlete).”
The student-athlete’s attorney, Monica Beck, filed a motion to dismiss Candace Curtis’ bankruptcy petition. She had obtained the recorded calls and accused the couple of fraud after Curtis gave all of his assets to his ex-wife during divorce proceedings.
Among them is a 23-acre horse farm in Ada Township which she listed for sale three years ago for $1.9 million. Candace Curtis listed liabilities of $13,000.
“The same cannot be said of the Debtor’s testimony … which is indicative of the Debtor’s lack of good faith. During the hearing, the Debtor made several troubling statements. Although the Debtor acknowledged that she intended to satisfy the claims of her other creditors, she was not necessarily prepared to address any allow claim of (the student-athlete),” the judge wrote.
She intended to sell the farm to her daughter and still have use of it, the judge said.
“These intentions are not representative of an honest but unfortunate debtor seeking to reorganize in good faith, Gregg said.
“Curtis’ acts were devastating to many people on many levels,” Gregg said. “As the debtor testified, she did not cause any damage to (the student-athlete) – Curtis did. Nonetheless, (the student-athlete) asserts a claim against the Debtor, the merits of which will be adjudicated by the District Court.”
The four victims earlier settled a lawsuit against Lakewood Public Schools for $575,000, with the schools’ insurance company paying $375,000.
Curtis played for the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees and others in a 10-year career. He earned $14 million in that time, the victims’ attorney said.