The Washington Post reported last week that a former Maryland House delegate filed for bankruptcy while she was running for office and used campaign funds for personal expenses.
The Post reported that former delegate Tiffany Alston, an attorney, filed for bankruptcy in May 2010, as she was campaigning for election to the Maryland House of Delegates. She won her election and took office in 2011. The bankruptcy took place before she began using campaign funds to cover her wedding expenses.
Alston’s $182,758 in debts included $26,000 she owed her former law partner, according to the Post. The former Prince George’s County Democrat pleaded no contest in 2012 to using campaign money for personal use.
Maryland lawmakers, citing the state constitution, stripped Alston of her delegate seat after she was convicted, according to the Post. Eventually, a judge expunged the conviction from Alston’s record after she completed 300 hours of community service.
Besides losing her delegate seat, Alston’s license to practice law was suspended by Maryland’s highest court after a client accused her of professional negligence, according to the Post.
During a bankruptcy, you are required to disclose all assets, including assets you expect to gain over the course of your case. Alston’s story indicates that while she did not attempt to conceal assets during her bankruptcy case, she paid for her expenses using campaign funds shortly after she filed.
Prosecutors indicted Alston for seeking to pay $3,560 in wedding expenses by writing two checks drawn from her campaign account, according to the Post. The checks eventually bounced.
Alson’s case is unusual in that she had access to campaign funds. When you sign a bankruptcy petition, you do so under the penalty of perjury. If you file for bankruptcy, you need to be as honest as possible with your attorney and answer all questions truthfully about all of the monetary accounts you have access to.
Often, bankruptcy is the best way to dig out of a financial hole. Filing for bankruptcy allows you to discharge unsecured debts like credit card debt and medical bills. If your financial situation is a problem, contact our Washington DC and Maryland bankruptcy lawyer now for a free consultation.