Why This Former Wall Street Executive Had His Bankruptcy Thrown Out of Court

Bankruptcy button on virtual screen.
A prominent former Wall Street trader who was imprisoned in 2005 for embezzling $43 million from Merrill Lynch and Co. has had his bankruptcy thrown out of court by a judge who accused him of repeatedly lying to the court.

According to a January 21 Wall Street Journal article, Judge Robert Gerber in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, denied Daniel Gordon the ability to rid himself of tens of millions in debts using the Chapter 7 bankruptcy timeline. In his January 13 ruling, Judge Gerber alleged that Gordon’s continued lies “helped destroy his credibility and, quite frankly, insulted the intelligence of the court.”

Gordon, who first filed for Chapter 7 in 2009, has been plagued with legal and financial troubles since being released from prison in 2007. He has been accused of fraudulently hiding assets by a trustee collecting money for his creditors, and has been sued in bankruptcy court by both his ex-wife and a former NBA player who borrowed a loan from him.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Gordon hid more than $3.1 million in assets from the bankruptcy court in his filing. Considering the fact that Chapter 7 bankruptcies require an individual to surrender their assets to pay off the discharged debts, it appeared that he may have been trying to salvage these assets. This omission was a “cavalier disregard” for the disclosure requirements and obligations of filing bankruptcy, Judge Gerber said.

In the aftermath of Judge Gerber’s ruling, Donald David, one of Gordon’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorneys, said his client intends to “vigorously appeal” the court’s decision to a district court, the Wall Street Journal reports, arguing that there were facts favoring Gordon that Judge Gerber’s decision didn’t reflect.

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