KC payday loan mogul is jailed for bankruptcy fraud

A Kansas City payday loan business owner was sentenced in federal court on Wednesday to spend a year plus a day in jail after pleading guilty to filing a bogus bankruptcy petition while seeking to offload $7.5 million in debt.

Del Hodges Kimball, 54, pleaded guilty in January to a single count of fraudulent bankruptcy. In addition to his prison sentence, Kimball is ordered to pay more than $900,000 in restitution, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri said.

Authorities alleged he spent two years lying about his financial situation while holding onto assets he secretly owned to avoid repaying his lenders. In his plea, Kimball admitted his scheme was concocted to defraud the bankruptcy court by concealing assets, bank accounts and making false statements, federal prosecutors said.

Acting U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore said the bankruptcy system Kimball admitted to operating relies on the honesty, openness and accuracy of people in debt seeking a fresh start.

“This defendant mocked the system in hopes of being able to pay off over $7.5 million in debt while maintaining a luxurious lifestyle for himself,” Moore said. said in a statement.

The criminal charges related to a personal bankruptcy case Kimball filed in 2015. Kimball and payday loan company LTS Management, which he co-owned, were forced into bankruptcy by creditors claiming they owed millions dollars invested in payday loans.

In 2017, a bankruptcy trustee accused Kimball of concealing assets, bank accounts and income from his bankruptcy disclosures, The Star previously reported. Bankrupt debtors are expected to disclose all aspects of their financial situation.

These omissions, according to the trustee, included his sale of a warehouse for nearly $1 million, the sale of three cars for more than $120,000, eight wristwatches worth more than $29,000 and a painting of Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood.

Throughout that time, Kimball claimed to have lost millions of dollars in 2013 and 2014 when he actually had gross income of nearly $160,000 in 2013 and more than $213,000 in 2014, prosecutors said. federal. He also admitted to directing profits of hundreds of thousands of dollars into his wife’s personal bank account to conceal his wealth from creditors and federal authorities.

Steve Vockrodt of The Star contributed to this report.

This story was originally published June 23, 2021 5:29 p.m.

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Bill Lukitsch covers breaking news for The Star. Prior to joining The Star, he covered politics and local government for the Quad-City Times.

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