Thomas made an initial payment of $50,000 when he signed the settlement in July, but he missed another $50,000 payment due in early January and has yet to make good on that. So is the city going to be permanently out what it’s owed?
Under the civil settlement, the city now “may use all means available . . . to collect the payment, including, but not limited to, attachment of any property” owned by Thomas or his now-defunct companies.
There is, however, the distinct possibility that Thomas could declare bankruptcy, in which case things would get a lot more complicated. The District would take its place beside Thomas’s other unsecured creditors — which include the federal government (for his long-overdue student loan debts) and, per City Paper, a Maryland anesthesia company — as his assets were divided. It’s unclear what those assets would be — his home is in his wife’s name, and he has agreed to relinquish his SUV and motorcycle to the feds — so it’s hard to know what chance the city would stand of being made whole during a liquidation.
But even if Thomas declares bankruptcy, he would probably not be off the hook to the city. Under the plea agreement he signed with federal prosecutors, he agrees to make restitution totaling $353,500 to the “victims” of his conduct — that is, the District — offset by any payments he makes under the civil settlement. And should the court’s final judgment in the criminal case include restitution, that would not be affected by a bankruptcy filing, according to lawyers knowledgable about this sort of thing.
One catch: The restitution agreement is not final until Thomas’s sentencing, which is set for May 3.