Lawyers for Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez filed pleadings in court Wednesday attacking the bankruptcy petition of Casey Anthony, the acquitted alleged murderess of two-year old Caylee Anthony.
In her initial petition filed with the U.S Bankruptcy Court in Tampa, Anthony lists about 80 creditors in a 60-page court filing. She claims unsecured debt for attorney’s fees, forensics, investigative and consulting services, in addition to medical and psychiatric services.
Other unsecured debts include Anthony’s mother, Cindy, unpaid credit card bills and even a debt for scuba diving services.
And with a mandatory creditors meeting set for March 4th in Tampa, attorneys representing Fernandez-Gonzalez have argued that the bankruptcy case should be moved to Orlando.
“Transferring this case to Orlando would aid in the efficient administration of this case, promote judicial economy, and promote fairness to interested parties,” the motion states, adding that Anthony’s assets are located “in the Orlando area” and there is “no apparent connection… between [Anthony] and Tampa…”
Fernandez-Gonzalez’s attorneys have gone on the record to accuse Anthony of “forum shopping” in an effort to inconvenience creditors by frequent travel to Tampa as well as to avoid the media spotlight.
In response to the motion for change of venue, Casey Anthony’s attorney would be expected to argue that the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida is the second busiest bankruptcy court, of the 90 federal districts, in the nation.
With almost ten million of Florida’s eighteen million people residing in the district, not only are Tampa and Orlando within the Middle District, but so are thirty-five of Florida’s sixty-seven counties.
Casey Anthony is now rumored to now be living in Cape Canaveral, Florida, also within the Middle District of Florida.
In response to Fernandez-Gonzalez’s motion, the federal bankruptcy court has set the matter for a February 26th hearing in Tampa.
“It would be sheer fantasy to think that Casey Anthony will get any sympathy or slack from a bankruptcy judge – or for that matter from anyone she appears before,” stated John Contini, a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney and author of several real-life crime dramas including Danger Road and Feeling the Heat.
The bankruptcy filing shows that Anthony is a defendant in several lawsuits, including the one brought by Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez for defamation in the Orange County Circuit Court.
Fernandez-Gonzalez claims that her reputation was destroyed when Anthony told detectives that a babysitter with the same name kidnapped Caylee. Later found dead, police were investigating the 2008 disappearance of the two-year old girl.
A successful bankruptcy discharge under Chapter 7 would wipe Casey Anthony’s financial slate totally clean. Although a trustee has the right to take possession of and sell non-exempt property and use the sale proceeds to pay creditors, only $1,100 in assets have been claimed by Anthony.
Unemployed and recently completing probation following her previous felony convictions on check fraud charges, the acquitted alleged murderess has nothing to lose by discharging her debts utilizing federal bankruptcy laws.
In the last week, Anthony made news in a Craigslist posting promising upwards of $50k for information on her specific whereabouts, about winning her appeal before a Florida appellate court on two of four misdemeanor lying convictions, her desire a to start a new career as a paralegal, being photographed on a central Florida beach, and the initial filing of her bankruptcy petition.
“Any kind of victory for Anthony would be akin to a kind of magic,” concluded Contini. “So it only makes sense that opposing counsel would seek a change of venue and shoot for Orlando. Disney’s capital of fantasy – where who knows, maybe they’ll have a magical day.”