Bankruptcy Fraud Case Looks at NBA Alum's Former Fiancee
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Bankruptcy Fraud Case Looks at Filer’s Former Fiancée

January 10, 2011

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Celebrity news site TMZ.com reports that Evelyn Lozada, who appeared on the show Basketball Wives and was once engaged to former NBA player Antoine Walker, has been targeted in an investigation of her ex-fiancé’s bankruptcy petition.

The story highlights some of the classic elements of well-paid athletes who find themselves in debt after their careers end: after earning a reported $110 million-plus during his NBA career, in addition to money from endorsements and promotions, Walker has found himself unable to pay his debts.

Last year, Walker filed for bankruptcy protection, but as his trustee has investigated his case, some reportedly questionable maneuvers have shown up. Chief among them is Walker’s donation of $560,000 to Lozada, who apparently used the money to start a shoe store in Miami.

According to Walker’s bankruptcy trustee, Walker gave Lozada the money when he already had plans in place to seek bankruptcy protection, thus making the gift fraudulent. According to bankruptcy laws, significant gifts of money or property to friends or family members just before a bankruptcy filing can be viewed as an attempt to shield those assets from the court, and thus from creditors.

However, both Walker and Lozada have insisted that the gift was not an instance of bankruptcy fraud; Lozada has allegedly claimed that she was not aware of her former fiancé’s plans to file a bankruptcy petition when he gave her the money. In fact, according to sources, the shoe store was bankrolled not by the $560,000 cash infusion, but by Lozada’s sale of her engagement ring.

The money, she and Walker say, was intended to help Lozada pay her bills.

Despite these claims, the bankruptcy trustee overseeing Walker’s case has reportedly sued Lozada for $560,000, which he claims rightfully belongs to Walker’s creditors. Depending on the outcome of the suit, Lozada could be responsible for returning the money to the bankruptcy court, so that it might be used as part of Walker’s bankruptcy estate.

If Lozada really did need the money to pay her bills, however, there might be a second bankruptcy filing in this ex-couple’s future.


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