A University of Minnesota professor made national news in September when a jury convicted him of three felony charges. The 57-year-old man was guilty of falsification of the amount in one retirement account and the omission of the existence of another account in efforts to cheat his wife out of an equitable share of the couple's assets. As we pointed out at the time, the wife stood to lose an estimated $353,649 if he had been successful in his scam to perpetrate a fraud on the Court while he cheated his wife.
Fortunately, she thought the numbers were wrong and notified the police. The man was subsequently charged with one count of attempted swindling and two counts of aggravated forgery.
On November 9, a Hennepin County District Judge sentenced the professor to four months in the workhouse jail and four years probation. If he successfully completes his probation, the charges will be reduced to misdemeanors. He was also fined $30,000 by the judge.
Did he get off easy?
Some may complain that the man got off easy considering he faced three felony charges. However, the fallout to the professor's career as a computer engineer and electrical engineer is now in jeopardy. A former employee of NASA, Boeing, McDonnell Douglas as well as several federal agencies including Department of Defense, the professor came to the university in 2003.
In light of the of his court case, he has stepped down as the director of the Technological Leadership Institute. He is not teaching any classes, but remains on staff as a researcher at least until the outcome of an appeal is finalized if one is even filed. The school will then revisit his status.
A cautionary tale
This case has turned the imprudent professor's life upside down. While he sought to save some of his retirement nest egg, the fines and subsequent legal fees have done quite the opposite. Moreover, he said in court that his reputation is now in tatters, which means that he will find it more difficult to earn money to live and replenish that divided, drained, and deflated nest egg.
Spouses concerned about dividing assets when filing for divorce are well served by consulting with an experienced Board-Certified Family Law expert attorney who works in Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County or elsewhere throughout Texas could help you to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the divorce process.