“Duh, gee, judge, I’m sorry, but I ain’t got no assets, so I guess there’s no point in holding me liable for nothing, since I can’t pay it anyhow.
“Oh, sure, I been working a long time and I did have a lot of property once and some money stashed away, but I ain’t got it no more. It’s all gone, and that’s the truth.
“Where’d it go? Well, you see, judge, here’s the thing: I give it all to my wife.
“Sure, we’re still married, your honor, but, you see, the assets ain’t mine no more. They’s hers, and I can’t hardly be taking back what I done give her.
“Oh, no, your honor, I wasn’t trying to shield my assets. That was the furthest thing from my mind. I just happened to give my wife everything I had right about the time all my legal troubles started. It’s an amazing coincidence, that’s all.
“No, sir, I could never think up a clever scheme like that. I’m just a dumb guy with a wealthy wife. I wouldn’t have no idea how to go about shielding assets.”
Judge Judy wouldn’t buy a crock like that, and Magistrate Judge James Seibert isn’t likely to buy a similar yarn, either. Still, Bridgeport radiologist Ray Harron is sticking to his story.
For years, Pittsburgh attorney Robert Peirce filed fraudulent asbestos lawsuits against CSX Transportation and stymied the company’s countersuit for fraud. At the end of 2012, however, a jury awarded CSX $469,000 after finding Peirce and a colleague guilty of conspiring with Harron to fabricate those claims.
Last September, U.S. District Judge Frederick Stamp of the Northern District of West Virginia applied RICO penalties and tripled the award.
During an assets and liability hearing earlier this month before Judge Seibert, Harron testified that he has no notable assets. CSX attorneys pointed out that Harron transferred sizable assets to his wife about 10 years ago.
Maybe she can assume hubby’s liabilities.