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Feds and wife tussle over convicted felon's missing millions

This is a story of public officials and corruption, of federal racketeering charges and potentially millions of dollars in hidden assets. It is a story of a woman whose husband owes a lot of money to the federal government and who still has family obligations that he is not meeting. And, as hard as it is to believe, this is not a story about Chicago.

The husband is a contractor who was involved in illegal deals -- illegal deals worth $84 million -- with his city's mayor. Earlier this year, both men were convicted of racketeering conspiracy, among other crimes, and the husband is looking at a 20-year sentence. On that conviction. The $12 million bid-rigging case against him has not yet gone to trial.

Why are we talking about this guy in a famil law blog? Because his wife has taken the unusual step of suing him for child support, even though the two are still married. The couple has five children, one of whom is still living at home. 

The husband's financial woes are myriad. First, he has gone through two expensive trials and is preparing for a third. Second, the FBI has seized assets, including construction equipment, real estate and $4 million in cash, connected to the criminal activity. He says he is so strapped for cash that he needs the court to appoint a defense attorney for his upcoming trial. And, of course, he is in jail pending sentencing right now, so he is not earning a legitimate living.

If he has no money, then, why would his wife sue for child support? We'll discuss that in our next post.

Source: The Detroit News, "Bobby Ferguson sued by wife over child support," Robert Snell, May 2, 2013

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