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United States v. Laroque

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Eastern Division

November 21, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
STEPHEN A. LAROQUE, Defendant.

          ORDER

          MALCOLM J. HOWARD SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the court on defendant's motion to quash writ of execution and objection to writ of execution. The government has responded, and both parties have made numerous filings in this matter, all of which have been reviewed by the undersigned. At petitioner's request, the court held a hearing . on this matter on September 26, 2017.

         Defendant makes the following objections in support of his motion to quash:

I. The total amount of the outstanding debt is significantly overstated.
II. The Writ of Execution [DE #322] should be quashed because it is procedurally defective.
III. The writ should not apply to property covered by the attached Claim for Exemptions.
IV. The majority of the items of property listed in the attachment to the Writ is not property of the judgment debtor, defendant.
V. To the extent that any of the listed property is co-owned property of judgment debtor and his wife, Susan Laroque, Mrs. Laroque is the "equitable owner" of certain items of property'.
VI. Pursuant to the court's equitable, authority, petitioner and claimants respectfully request this court impose a payment plan to satisfy any remaining debt.
VII. Petitioner and claimants respectfully request the court exercise its equitable authority to deny the writ of execution as to certain supplemental property that, if sold, would render little return to the United States.
VIII. Petitioner and claimants respectfully request that this court enter any order which justice requires in order to protect petitioner and claimants from undue hardship, burden, or expense.

         BACKGROUND

         Judgment was entered against defendant for restitution of • $300, 000 plus a $5, 000 fine and the special assessment required in his case. Shortly after sentencing, the cash held in trust by defense counsel, $56, 129.51, was applied to defendant's restitution. In late August 2015, the restrained properties were auctioned with proceeds totaling $120, 950.40 applied to the restitution. Defendant's wife, Susan Laroque, as Laroque's attorney in fact, executed the contracts (because Laroque had already reported to the Bureau of Prisons (BOP)). Thus, at that time they knew that approximately $122, 000 remained due on the judgment. In December 2015, the government informed defendant's counsel regarding the remaining balance and were told counsel no longer represented him. Over the next eight months, Laroque paid a mere $200 through the Inmate Financial Responsibility Program. In August 2016, $122, 720.09 remained outstanding, and the government began enforcement efforts through writs of garnishment. At that point the government learned from State Employees' Credit Union (SECU) that defendant's IRA account had been entirely depleted. The government contends these depletions were part of a series of fraudulent transfers by defendant and his wife in order to avoid payment of restitution. That issue is not before the court today.

         In April 2017, the government learned defendant and his wife insured 44 pieces of jewelry for $135, 265. In June 2017, the government learned that defendant's financial declaration showed jewelry valued at only $50, 000 was in his ...


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