Here’s a fun one. Lawyer owes $72.5 million. Lawyer claims he has $50,000. Lawyer conveniently forgets the $8.9 million in assets he has, and the nearly $1 million he has stuffed in his closet.
That’s the story of Harry Pavilack, a lawyer who is well known in South Carolina thanks to his television ads. The ABA Journal reports that Pavilack produced $994,000 from the closet of his Myrtle Beach office when a bankruptcy investigator impressed upon him the importance of full disclosure.
Why does he have that much cash sitting around? I was hoping it was because Pavilack is old (he’s 70) and doesn’t trust these gosh-darned electronic transactions. But sadly it appears far more likely that Pavilack was just trying to frustrate his creditors…
The Sun News reports on the findings from the court appointed bankruptcy investigator, George DuRant:
DuRant, in his report, said Pavilack has been conducting mainly cash transactions since February “in order to frustrate the collection efforts of a creditor.”…
Pavilack – who has refused to say how much cash he has on hand, according to DuRant’s report – handed the examiner three stashes of cash totaling $1.1 million this month after another court-appointed investigator stressed to Pavilack the importance of disclosing assets.
Pavilack retrieved one of those stashes – totaling $994,400 – from the closet in his law office, DuRant said.
Apparently, this Pavilack guy is real pro. Even the investigator admits that there is no way to truly figure out how much money Pavilack has:
“At this stage, it is impossible for the examiner to determine if the cash turned over to date is all or only a portion of the total amount of cash held by [Pavilack],” DuRant said in his report.
“Unfortunately, the trail for [Pavilack's] cash transactions is cold, and accurately reconstructing the trail from [Pavilack's] memory and from third parties seems a pipe dream,” DuRant stated.
You know, we could look at this Harry Pavilack as another black mark on the legal profession. And he is. But hey, in a down economy let’s hear it for an attorney with nearly a million dollars socked away in his closet. Pavilack (a proud graduate of the University of South Carolina Law School) clearly did something right to make all that money. And sure, that something might have involved corruption and questionable ethics, but I’m sure that there are a lot of USC grads out there who would be willing to give if a go as a grifter if they could just figure out how to get a start.
As a guy who wishes he had $994,000 sitting in his closet to give to his creditors, I can’t be too critical.