Bankruptcy Won't Keep Wrestler Rulon Gardner Down - Phoenix Bankruptcy Law News

Phoenix Bankruptcy Law News

Bankruptcy Won't Keep Wrestler Rulon Gardner Down

Olympic wrestler Rulon Gardner says he's not going down without a fight.

The bankrupt gold medalist filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in September after falling victim to a Ponzi scheme. Now the former Olympian is trying to wrestle his most prized possessions away from his creditors, The Associated Press reports.

Gardner had quite a career winning the gold in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the bronze at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. He was also crowned the 2001 wrestling world champion.

However, Johnson's good fortune didn't extend to his off-the-mat pursuits. Gardner blames his financial woes on former business partner Elizabeth P. Johnson. The wrestler claims Johnson defrauded him into co-signing a loan to develop a resort near his hometown of Afton, Wyo.

Johnson is currently serving a 34-month sentence for fraud and money laundering. According to Gardner, she owes him $300,000 and his lender $1 million. Meanwhile, Gardner is left with the loan's colossal interest payments and penalties.

In order to get out from under his debt burden, Gardner filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. According to the filing, Gardner owes more than $3 million, but has a household income of only $37,392. In order to pay back Gardner's creditors, the bankruptcy trustee has seized Gardner's possessions and plans to sell them off.

An auction was scheduled for Oct. 27, but has been postponed indefinitely in order to give the trustee more time to determine whether Gardner will get to hold on to any of his possessions. The property includes a Ford Excursion, a Harley-Davidson, a pink handgun, dozens of watches, and Olympic memorabilia. "The Olympic rings and other stuff, those are the things that really matter to me," Gardner told the AP.

Ultimately, Gardner will probably get to keep some of his personal property under the state's bankruptcy exemption laws. Any other items he wants to hang onto, he'll have to buy back from the bankruptcy estate.

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