Booger and Ana’s Bankruptcy Claims
Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) is an electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information online from federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts, and the PACER Case Locator. The following information details the claims that were filed by Steven Ziaja and Ana Franklin in the Priceville Partners (Title Marts) bankruptcy case. It was obtained using PACER.
The problem is that there are discrepancies between the amounts of money they supposedly put into the Title Marts and the amounts of money filed in the claims. For instance, Ziaja has probated promissory notes (dated December 23, 2015) that add up to $846,000. Yet when he filed his official claim against the bankruptcy on September 15, 2016, he only listed $464,299.54. That’s a difference of roughly $382,000. Now, I know it’s “only money,” but if those promissory notes that Steven have are legit, then when would he intentionally “cheat” himself out of almost $400K? By the same token, according to the United States Department of Justice, “a person who...knowingly and fraudulently presents any false claim for proof against the estate of a debtor, or uses any such claim in any case under title 11, in a personal capacity or as or through an agent, proxy, or attorney;...shall be fined..., imprisoned..., or both.”
The elements of a false claim violation are:
- that bankruptcy proceedings had been commenced;
- that defendant presented or caused to be presented a proof of claim in the bankruptcy;
- that the proof of claim was false as to a material matter; and
- that the defendant knew the proof of claim was false and acted knowingly and fraudulently.
So, Steven…which is the correct, accurate amount?
Now on to Ana…
It is now widely known that Ana sunk $150,000 that she got from the Morgan County Inmate Food Fund into the Title Marts. That was on June 5, 2015. On September 15, 2016 (the same day that Booger filed his), Ana filed a claim against the bankruptcy for $150K. But strangely, that same day, she amended her claim to only just $135,650. And then --a day later-- she amended it again (this time from $135,650 to $135,100). The question is why? We know for a fact that she put in $150,000…so again, much like Ziaja, why would she “cheat” herself like this? Let’s face it, this would not be the first time Ana did not tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in regards to all of this. According to the Decatur Daily, Franklin said after the bankruptcy filing that she used her “savings for retirement” for the money she put into the Title Marts. Ashley Remkus of the Birmingham News writes, “by February, Franklin’s attorney (Billable Barney) changed the story to say the sheriff removed the money due to a ‘concern about the account nearing the $250,000 FDIC insurance limit,’ according to court documents.” Ana then finally admitted that yes, she actually took the money from the Inmate Food Fund, but that it didn’t really matter…because, as sheriff, she was entitled to that money, anyway. And now, she maintains that she took it “in an attempt to earn back $21,000 that she claims she lost on feeding inmates. Franklin did not say when the account went $21,000 in the negative or when the account gained enough money for her to remove $160,000 and loan $150,000 to the car lot. Franklin did not provide documentation of the account.”