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January 27, 2013

Casey Anthony files for bankruptcy in Florida

TAMPA, Fla. — Casey Anthony filed for bankruptcy in Florida on Friday, claiming about $1,100 in assets and $792,000 in liabilities.

Court records show that Anthony, who was acquitted of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee in 2011, sought Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in federal court in Tampa.

Her listed debts include $500,000 for attorney fees and costs for her criminal defense lawyer during the trial, Jose Baez; $145,660 for the Orange County Sheriff's office for a judgment covering investigative fees and costs related to the case; $68,540 for the Internal Revenue Service for taxes, interest and penalties; and $61,505 for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for court costs.

The filling also states that she is a defendant in several civil suits, including one brought by Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez for defamation in Orange County Circuit Court.

Fernandez-Gonzalez claims her reputation was damaged by Anthony telling detectives that a baby sitter by the same name kidnapped Caylee. The detectives were investigating the 2008 disappearance of the girl, who later was found dead. Anthony's attorney said details offered by Anthony did not match Fernandez-Gonzalez and clearly showed Anthony wasn't talking about her.

Court papers list Anthony as unemployed, with no recent income.

An attorney for Anthony, David Schrader, did not immediately respond to messages from the Associated Press.

Anthony lists about 80 creditors in the 60-page court filing. The claims largely cover fees for legal, medical, psychiatric and forensics consulting or services. But one claim covers a debt for scuba diving services.

According to the courts, the aim of seeking Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection is to be discharged of most existing debts — essentially to obtain a fresh financial start. A trustee may have the right to take possession of and sell non-exempt property and use the sale proceeds to pay creditors, but Anthony lists little in the way of assets. A debtor may still be held responsible for some obligations, such as taxes and student loans.

The filing came on the same day that a Florida appellate court set aside two of the four convictions she faced for lying to detectives during the investigation into her missing daughter.

Though Anthony was acquitted of killing Caylee, jurors convicted her of four counts of lying to detectives, and her attorneys appealed those convictions. Anthony was sentenced to time served for the misdemeanors.

She was sentenced to a year of probation after her release from jail for an unrelated case. For her protection, her whereabouts have been kept secret since she was released from state supervision last year.

 

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