30. In preparation for their golden retirement, the DeLanos filed their joint voluntary bankruptcy petition and, of course, it came before Judge Ninfo. Based on what and whom Mr. DeLano knew, they could expect their petition to glide smoothly toward being granted. (D:266¶¶37-39) The fact that among their 21 creditors in Schedule F they themselves named Dr. Cordero (C:1448) must have carried no significance at all other than that thereby they would be able to discharge his claim against Mr. DeLano arising in Pfuntner. After all, Dr. Cordero was their only non-institutional creditor, lives hundreds of miles away in NYC, and was unsecured to boot.
31. But a most unforeseen event occurred: Dr. Cordero went through the trouble of examining their petition, and more surprisingly yet, he even realized how incongruous the declarations were that the DeLanos had made in its Schedules (C:1437-1454) and Statement of Financial Affairs (C:1455-1461). Most unexpectedly, not only did he put in writing his realization, but he also traveled all the way to Rochester to attend the meeting of their creditors on March 8, 2004 (D:23), the only one to do so! (D:68, 69) While there he filed with Judge Ninfo’s clerks his objection to the confirmation (C:291) of their debt repayment plan (C:1467) and even invoked 11 U.S.C. §1302(b) and §704(4) and (7) to request Chapter 13 Trustee George Reiber to investigate their financial affairs and produce documents to show the in- and outflow of their money.
32. Money the DeLanos do have, as Trustee Reiber, Judge Ninfo, Assistant Trustee Schmitt, and Region 2 Trustee Martini knew or could have readily known had they only cast a glance at their implausible petition. (C:1411) Hence, the alarms went off, for these officers were aware that Mr. DeLano could not be allowed to go down on a charge of bankruptcy fraud since he knows about their intentional and coordinated disregard for the law, the rules, and the facts in handling bankruptcy petitions, that is, of their support for the bankruptcy fraud scheme. Therefore, if Mr. DeLano's petition were checked and as a result, he were charged with bankruptcy fraud and he and his wife ended up facing up to 20 years imprisonment and ruinous fines under 18 U.S.C. §§151-158, 1519, and 3571, he would consider it in his interest to enter into a plea bargain to incriminate top schemers in exchange for leniency. Consequently, the schemers closed ranks to protect Mr. DeLano from being investigated or having to produce incriminating documents.
33. Yet, even a person untrained in bankruptcy could realize the incongruity and implausibility of the DeLanos’ declarations in their bankruptcy petition. For instance:
a. The DeLanos earned $291,470 in just the 2001-2003 fiscal years preceding their petition of January 27, 2004 (C:1419; 1499);
b. but they declared having only $535 in hand and accounts (C:1439); yet, they and their attorney, Christopher Werner, Esq., knew that they could afford to pay $16,654 in legal fees (C:1060) for over a year’s maneuvering to avoid producing the documents requested by Dr. Cordero, which would incriminate them for concealment of assets; their tough stance was rewarded by Judge Ninfo, who without any written request allowed even higher legal fees, $18,005! (C:1057) But then Att. Werner is not just any attorney: according to PACER, as of February 28, 2005, he had appeared before Judge Ninfo in 525 cases out of 575! (ToEC:91¶3) Trustee Reiber rewarded Att. Werner too by requesting another $9,948 for him on December 7, 2005, and lowering the recovery rate from 22˘ to less than 13˘ on the $ (Pst:1175). Outrageous arrogance of power endowed with immunity!
c. The DeLanos amassed a whopping debt of $98,092 (C:1449), although the average credit card debt of Americans is $6,000; and spread it over 18 credit cards so that no issuer would have a stake high enough to make litigation cost-effective (C:1401).
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