Tom Corea's Bankruptcy Shows How He Allegedly Spent His Clients' Money

Categories: Legal Battles

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Tom Corea
It hasn't been a terribly good few months for Dallas attorney Tom Corea. He has been sued by several former clients who claim he stole their settlement money, indicted by Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins and stripped of his law license by the Texas State Bar.

At the risk of kicking the man when he's down, we now point you to Corea's Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. It seems that Corea has bitten off a bit more than he could chew over the years and now owes creditors $7.1 million, or roughly five times his $1.6 million in assets.

So how does a moderately high profile lawyer amass such a sizable debt? A schedule of assets filed yesterday gives us some idea. Maintaining his professional reputation seems to have been costly, given that he owes Telemundo and Channel 21 $166,000 for blanketing daytime TV with his ads and another $26,500 to CBS Outdoor for plastering his face all over Dallas. Luxury vehicles seem to have been a passion of Corea's as he owes a combined $290,000 for his BMW, two Mercedes, a Cadillac Escalade and a Porsche, not counting the $10,000 he still has due to Discount Tire or the 2007 Country Coach motor home, Blue Book value $382,890.

There are dozens of other claims of a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. A good chunk of his debt comes from his home and business. He still owes nearly $1 million on two homes and a couple of hundred acres in Palmer, Texas, and the entirety of an $800,000 business loan.

Corea's quarter horse operation, Whistlestop Ranch, is not listed as an asset. It belongs to his wife, he claims, and she just filed for divorce. All those horses and stables and land aren't technically his and thus can't be taken during his bankruptcy.

Even if they can be, Corea would still be in a boatload of debt, and all those clients he's allegedly screwed over would be just as unlikely to get their money.

Core a Schedule

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If Corea took all tho money, why can't he afford anything?


The debts owed for money he supposedly was holding for clients are unlikely to be discharged in the bankruptcy.  It's governed by section 523 of the bankruptcy code.  He'd just continue to owe those trust-fund debts later after the bankruptcy case is over.


However, the clients who want that result have to go into bankruptcy court and specifically request a finding of nondischargeability.  The client debts won't just automaticaly get classified as nondischargeable and the court may not sift through all that mess if the person harmed isn't asking the court to do it.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

A lawyer stiffs a lot of people and gets to skate ... meantime ... a kid makes a poor decision and owes money to some baddies from South Dallas and gets whacked ...


Ain' t the justice system just wonderful ....

TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

 @ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul I'll bet Corea doesn't sleep very well.


It would be nice to think that it's because his conscience is bothering him for screwing all those folks over, but that's probably not the reason.


At any rate, it's nice to think that this roach has to keep one eye open 'round the clock just to make sure he doesn't end up with a shiv in the ribs.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter


What is even worse is the fact that the money that he was holding in trust is probably gone.  That money was not his and the people that it was held for are not even considered creditors.


I wonder how the BC will handle those claims?

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