- The Washington Times - Monday, February 19, 2007

A federal judge has reopened a bankruptcy case in which a trustee is demanding that one of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s brothers repay more than $100,000 in purported loans from a carnival outfit whose owner was pardoned by President Clinton.

Anthony D. Rodham received $107,000 in payments from Tennessee-based United Shows of America Inc. before the company went bankrupt in 2002, according to court records.

United Shows’ owners — Edgar Gregory Jr. and his wife, Vonna Jo Gregory — were pardoned by Mr. Clinton in March 2000, despite an objection by the Justice Department. The couple was convicted of bank fraud in 1982 for illegally giving loans to friends. Mr. Gregory died in 2004.

After court-appointed trustee Michael Collins took over the company’s finances, he obtained a default judgment against Mr. Rodham, saying he “received the benefit of the loans without making any repayment.”

Mr. Collins’ collection effort spawned court actions last year against Mr. Rodham in D.C. Superior Court and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Alexandria.

In September, an attorney for Mr. Rodham, of Vienna, Va., persuaded a federal judge to set aside the default judgment, saying he did not get proper notice of some of the proceedings.

After setting aside the default judgment, the case was essentially closed because of what Mr. Collins called a procedural glitch.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Marian F. Harrison on Jan. 30 granted a request by Mr. Collins to reopen the case.

A status hearing was scheduled for today in Nashville, Tenn., but likely will be continued until next week, Mr. Collins said.

“We want to get the case on a scheduling track, so we can proceed to trial,” he said.

Mr. Rodham has declined to speak about the case, and his attorney did not return a phone call yesterday.

Mrs. Clinton, New York Democrat, announced last month that she was forming a presidential exploratory committee. Yesterday, a spokesman for her presidential exploratory committee had no comment.

When Mr. Clinton pardoned the Gregorys, Mr. Rodham reportedly said he worked for United Shows as a consultant. He denied taking money to lobby for the couple’s pardon.

Mr. Rodham has not filed an answer to Mr. Collins’ complaint. But in legal pleadings, his attorney, Samuel Crocker, said Mr. Rodham says the money that he received from United Shows was compensation, not loans.

“Defendant was owed compensation for the services he rendered,” Mr. Crocker stated in the filings.

However, Mr. Collins, in bankruptcy filings last year, said each of the 16 checks from United Shows to Mr. Rodham had a note at the bottom indicating that the payments were loans.

In addition, Mr. Crocker said Mr. Rodham received a summons but never found out that there had been a motion for a default judgment because the notice was sent to the wrong address. Mr. Rodham previously lived in the District.

Once Mr. Collins obtained a default judgment last year, he hired attorneys to file collection judgments to pursue Mr. Rodham’s assets in the District and Virginia.

Mr. Collins said he is not ruling out a settlement in the case. He said an out-of-court agreement seemed to be a possibility.

Although the default judgment was set aside, Mr. Rodham has been ordered by Judge Harrison to pay more than $19,000 to cover Mr. Collins’ legal expenses in connection with the collection efforts.

Mr. Collins said Mr. Rodham has complied with that court order.

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