Texas Equusearch Files Federal Lawsuit To Stop Casey Anthony From Discharging Her Debts In Bankruptcy Court, Alleges Anthony’s Lies And Omissions Cost The Missing Persons Search Firm Significant Time And Money
MIAMI – May 9, 2013 – Peter D. Russin, a noted corporate bankruptcy attorney and co-founder of the Florida law firm Meland Russin & Budwick, today announced that Texas Equusearch, a creditor of acquitted murder suspect Casey Anthony, has filed a lawsuit in federal bankruptcy court to prevent Anthony from discharging her debt for damages exceeding $100,000 to Texas Equusearch. In Texas Equusearch Mounted Search and Recovery v. Casey Marie Anthony (Case No. 8:13-BB-00922-KRM) the plaintiff alleges that Anthony lied, omitted information and defrauded the missing persons search firm into looking for her daughter, Caylee Anthony, when she knew that the two-year-old had already drowned in her family’s pool.
Based on statements from Anthony and her family, the nonprofit, volunteer-run organization raised more than $100,000 from donors and recruited more than 4,000 people to join its search for the toddler. The endeavor consumed 40 percent of its annual budget and represents the second-most costly search in the organization’s history, the suit alleges. While Texas Equusearch was engaged in this search, the organization had to turn away requests from more than 15 other families seeking help finding missing loved ones.
“Casey Anthony defrauded Texas Equusearch and should not be allowed to live her life without fulfilling her debt obligations to my client,” said Russin, who is noted as one Florida’s top corporate litigators with significant experience in bankruptcies and reorganizations. “We intend to obtain justice through the bankruptcy courts. It is not fair to the donors who put up $100,000 and the 4,000 people who volunteered to search for a missing child who wasn’t missing.”
Anthony was acquitted of murder in 2011 in the death of her two-year-old daughter. In late January, the 26-year-old filed for bankruptcy, claiming about $1,000 in assets and $792,000 in liabilities. A defendant in several lawsuits, including state lawsuits previously filed by Texas Equusearch, Anthony is listed in court filings as unemployed and with zero recent income. Meanwhile, the trustee overseeing the bankruptcy case is seeking the court’s permission to sell the “exclusive worldwide rights” of Anthony’s life story to pay off her debts.
“Casey Anthony should be held accountable for defrauding Texas Equusearch to waste scarce resources that could have been allocated to help search for other missing people, and we want to use this case to send a message that we will not tolerate these wrongful acts from others and will not hesitate to seek all legal remedies that are available to us,” said plaintiff Tim Miller, who established the organization after the 1984 abduction and murder of his daughter, Laura Miller.
Since 2000, Texas Equusearch has participated in more than 1,350 searches in more than 40 states nationwide. It has helped to safely bring more than 300 missing people home and recover the remains of 159 missing loved ones, bringing closure to many families. It is one of only a handful of specialized search-and-rescue teams that assist law enforcement with searches of missing people. More information is available at www.texasequusearch.org
About Meland Russin & Budwick
Meland Russin & Budwick is a Miami-based law firm that provides real estate and developer representation, corporate bankruptcy and reorganization, receiverships, financial frauds and ponzi schemes litigation, and complex commercial litigation services to a broad array of corporate, fiduciary and individual clients. The firm was co-founded in 1993 by entrepreneurial, business-minded attorneys with a vision to create a results-focused, diverse firm that provides high-quality legal counsel along with a personalized, client-centric approach. As part of the firm’s culture of community service, its attorneys are actively involved at high levels with the local bar associations and serve on the boards of numerous community organizations. Its attorneys are recognized by Chambers and Partners and rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell. For more information, visit www.melandrussin.com