By Diane Madigan
Independent Court Reporter
Wendy Lewis, trustee in the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy proceedings of disbarred attorney Thomas A. White, has entered into an agreement with Re/Max Complete offering the real estate firm a 10% commission to broker the sale of White’s Jani-King franchise.
White paid $35,000 for the franchise, according to court records.
According to a source at Jani-King, resale of a franchise has very little value as Jani-King is not legally responsible to provide any clients to the transferred owners. There is also a $2,000 fee to transfer the franchise.
Benefits provided to a new Jani-King franchise are a guaranteed list of clients and a minimum income for the first 18 months of ownership.
Trustee Lewis also has filed a complaint against Marilynn Lange, Margaret Sawicki, and David, Dennis, Edward and Ronald Galloway to recover $13,990.71 that was garnisheed by their attorney Steven Cohen from White’s credit union account on May 16, 2013.
The complaint states that White was insolvent at the time the transfer was made, within 90 days of White filing for bankruptcy, and the account had been frozen.
According to a July 18 phone conversation with Cohen, members of the Galloway family are beneficiaries to the Thomas Garrett estate and should have received $600,000 from White, but they got nothing.
Representing the family, Cohen filed a civil lawsuit against White in December 2012. The court awarded the Galloway family $350,000, which White never paid.
Cohen tried to file a malpractice insurance claim against White for his clients, but White had not paid his insurance premiums.
The deadline for victims to file objections to White’s list of creditors was extended to Feb. 18. This allowed victims to pursue collection of monies that White allegedly owes them outside of the terms of the bankruptcy settlement.
White was disbarred on July 15. In the disbarment order White agreed to pay the Thomas Garrett Estate $216,000 by Nov. 1 and the Galloway complainants $90,038 by July 15, 2015. White filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on July 19.
White’s wife Heather filed for divorce Nov. 1 and was scheduled for a settlement conference Jan. 31, which was reset to Feb. 6. The divorce proceedings were dismissed by the judge when she didn’t show up in court.
Then, the divorce proceedings were reinstated on Feb. 10 and a miscellaneous motion hearing was set for 9 a.m. March 21 in Judge Arthur J. Lombard’s courtroom.
White’s next scheduled court appearance is Feb. 26 at 34th District Court in Romulus for a preliminary examination on 20 felony charges, including conducting a criminal enterprise, identity theft, writing bad checks and embezzling a minimum of $1.95 million from his clients.
He also has until April 14 to come up with $36,355 to keep from being evicted from a home he purchased on a land contract on which he had not been paying taxes or making payments.
White was an attorney with offices at 35 Main Street, Belleville, for 20 years until he was disbarred July 15 for stealing from his clients.
By Diane Madigan