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Professor convicted of trying to hide marital assets

Couples who file for divorce are obligated to negotiate in good faith as they go through the process. Ideally, they look at a complete list of their marital assets and then divide them in a fair and equitable manner. Sometimes it does not work that way and they end up in court. Occasionally, one of them ends up court for trying to cheat the system.

A University of Minnesota professor has made national news after a jury quickly found him guilty of theft of swindle over $35,000 and two counts of aggravated forgery. These charges are in connection to the man attempting to hide the actual value of a retirement account and the existence of a second retirement account. According to a local news report, the man listed the account's value was $745,012, but the actual value of both was $891,116. The amount the ex-wife could have lost if he was successful was $353,649.

Jurors also found other aggravating factors in the case that will likely lead to a sentence much more severe than normally recommended by the state of Minnesota. The sentencing hearing is set for November 9.   

Too smart for his own good

The professor of electrical engineering and computer engineering is also the director of the school's Technological Leadership Institute. His background includes work for NASA, McDonnell Douglas, Rockwell International, Boeing and such federal agencies as departments of Defense and Energy.

He thought he could outsmart his ex-wife, her legal team and investigators. However, the wife believed the forged numbers were too low and notified law enforcement. The actual numbers were confirmed through subpoena and a forgery expert determined the forged documents false.

The criminal charges are serious and the professor could see jail time and financial penalties. Obviously, he would have been better off being honest in first place. Now he will be sentenced and he could see his professional career tainted by a criminal record.

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