Former Northwestern, USC star sentenced for bankruptcy fraud

Published: 2011-07-25 09:27:09
Author: Staff reports - The Herald Updated: Saturday, Jul. 23, 2011

COLUMBIA--- Former Northwestern High School and University of South Carolina football great Rick Sanford was sentenced to two years probation, 30 days home confinement, and 100 hours of community service after pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Sanford, who in 1979 was the first Gamecocks football player ever drafted by the NFL in the first round, had been accused of omitting from his bankruptcy petition a $70,000 ownership interest in a Vail, Colo., condominium.
Sanford, born in Rock Hill, had a storied football career. Attending USC on a football scholarship, he quickly became a standout defensive back. Following the 1978 season, he was chosen as an All-American.
In the 1979 football draft, Sanford was chosen 25th overall.
He played for the New England Patriots and was named to the 1983 All-Pro team. The play for which he is best remembered is a 1982 interception at Chicago's Soldier Field that he returned 99 yards for a touchdown. In 1998, he was elected to the S.C. Athletic Hall of Fame.
Once out of football, Sanford parlayed his sports career into a chiropractic practice, which he started in 1990.
By February 2009, when he filed for bankruptcy, Sanford had accumulated assets of $2.1 million and liabilities of $2.8 million, according to papers filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Sanford filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, also called a “liquidation bankruptcy.” Generally known as the most efficient kind of bankruptcy, it calls for paying creditors as much as possible from the assets and then canceling all debts.
His listed assets included his $990,000 interest in his Chapin home, his $450,000 interest in another piece of real estate in Chapin, a $280,000 interest in a condominium at Village at Sandhill and a $105,000 interest in a timeshare at Daufuskie Island Resident's Club. His interest in two Lexuses, one BMW, two Jeep Cherokees, and a 22-foot motorboat were valued at approximately $114,000.
Sanford's average monthly expenses were $13,070, and his income was $13,656. However, the filing says his yearly income from his chiropractic practice had declined from $225,925 in 2007 to $186,839 in 2008.
On the day he filed for bankruptcy, Sanford signed a paper declaring under penalty of perjury that his representation of assets and liabilities was accurate.
However, three months later, in May 2009, the U.S. trustee in the matter filed a complaint against Sanford, alleging he made misrepresentations about his financial status and that he “knew or should have known” he didn't report everything he should have in his original filing.