Local News

Mike Nifong Files for Bankruptcy

Posted January 15, 2008
Updated January 16, 2008

— Former Durham prosecutor Mike Nifong has filed for bankruptcy, listing a debt of $180.3 million, according to documents filed Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Durham.

The filing comes on the same day the former Duke lacrosse prosecutor and others involved in the case were to submit responses to a federal lawsuit by the three men he sought to prosecute.

Nifong lists David Evans, Collin Finnerty and Reade Seligmann, as well as three other members of Duke University's 2006 men's lacrosse team who filed a separate federal lawsuit — as unsecured creditors, each owed $30 million.

More than 30 other lacrosse players from that team are also listed as creditors, each owed $1; the North Carolina State Bar, owed $8,397.71 for costs related to his disbarment; and nearly 70 other people involved in or associated in some way the nearly yearlong investigation of rape, sexual assault and kidnapping claims by an exotic dancer.

Nifong values his assets, including his house, car and personal belongings, at $243,898.

The filing temporarily protects Nifong against litigation, Cary bankruptcy attorney Travis Sasser said.

But the unsecured creditors – the lawsuits' plaintiffs – can file what is called an objection to dischargability, arguing that the debt was incurred through "willful and malicious injury."

The plaintiffs would have to show that Nifong intended both the action and the harm that came with the injury, Sasser said.

Seligmann's attorney in the civil case, David Rudolf, said the lawsuit will continue as planned, calling Nifong's bankruptcy filing a small part of the lawsuit at this point.

"Our primary concern is not collecting money from Mike Nifong," Rudolf said. "Our priority is how the city does business and to change how the police department conducts itself."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper dismissed the case against Evans, Finnerty and Seligmann last year, declaring them innocent of all charges.

The North Carolina State Bar disbarred the embattled prosecutor for more than two dozen violations of its rules of professional conduct. In September, Nifong spent a day in jail after a judge found him in contempt of court for statements he made in court about the case.

Nifong is due in bankruptcy court Feb. 8 for a creditor's meeting.


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  • VT1994Hokie Jan 16, 2008

    Mike Nifong abused his power in office. Had he admitted a mistake earlier when everything brokeout--he could have possibly saved himself. He used his position to get re-elected. I truly don't feel sorry for him in the least. He smart and he is wanting to save some monies.

  • koolady Jan 16, 2008

    What was that man thinking?? So now his life is one big mess.

  • geraniumposey Jan 16, 2008

    Oh what a tangled (and expensive) web we weave when first we practice to DECEIVE, Nifong.

  • NeverSurrender Jan 16, 2008

    "It is a life changing event for certain. You never forget and it alters permanently your sense of security."


    And that's why, of all criminals, I have absolutely no sympathy for child abusers, molesters, and rapists. Their crimes resonate many years after the "justice system" has weighed in on their future.

    It's not about sex, it's about power and breaking the will of another person...and no one should have that kind of a power over another human being.

    Those are the crimes that I'd love to conveniently forget the constitutional prohibitions against "cruel and unusual punishment". If any class of criminal deserved it, they're the ones.

    Hopefully the system dealt with your attacker harshly. If not, then I'm quite sure there is a place reserved on the ninth ring where that lot ought to end up!

  • 1crazygirl Jan 16, 2008

    What goes around.....comes around.

  • gandalf1 Jan 16, 2008

    Ok I will try this again and this time not express my opinion concerning Mr. Nifong since the last time I did my comment did not get posted. Boy isn't wonderful weather we are having!

  • zeitghost Jan 16, 2008

    "where is Crystal Gail Mangum in all this?? SHE is responsible for starting the whole mess. She should be sued, as well. And, yeah...WHERE IS SHE??"

    I don't agree. Maybe those Lacrosse players didn't take advantage of her, but Nifong sure did. He fanned the flames with every ounce of energy he had for his political ends. If a prosecuter with any integrity had sat down with her and gone through the many, many, inconsistencies, they could have easily not pressed any charges without inflaming the african american community. If anything, in the end he set back Durham's race relations.

  • farkle80 Jan 16, 2008

    Nancy, thank you. I understand what you are saying - even though nothing happened to me, I too, changed how I feel about people in general and personal security. It is a trauma that is never far from one's consciousness. Take care...

  • Nancy Jan 16, 2008

    willow, I believe she had two prior to the child born 9 months after the fake claim of rape. I could be wrong, but I thought that one was #3. And nary a father in sight!

  • WilloWSnapper Jan 16, 2008

    nancy dont you mean 4 kids ? she had another one 9 months after the so called rape