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December 02. 2012 7:40PM

Exeter financial scam suspect may lose bankruptcy protection

BRENTWOOD - An Exeter financial adviser charged with stealing more than $1 million from two elderly women may have his Chapter 7 filing denied by a bankruptcy judge, opening him back up to lawsuits and civil judgments pending against him.

Frederick McMenimen did not disclose his access to hundreds of thousands of dollars that he "transferred, removed, concealed or permitted to be transferred," in the two years prior to claiming bankruptcy, according to a complaint by Assistant U.S. Trustee Geraldine Karonis.

The complaint filed Thursday by regulators, if approved,could put McMenimen back on the hook for a $900,000 attachment against him in Rockingham County Superior Court.

The attachment was secured as part of a civil lawsuit filed by one of McMenimen's alleged victims, Victoria Wagstaff of North Hampton.

Her claims, which were followed by criminal charges months later, alleged that she wrote checks totaling $900,000 to what she believed was an investment company. Instead, the funds allegedly went into a bank account controlled by McMenimen, according to court documents.

The civil lawsuit was stayed indefinitely once McMenimen sought Chapter 7 protection in March, according to a decision by Superior Court Judge N. William Delker.

A separate $1.5 million judgment awarded to the estate of McMenimen's uncle, Samuel Pietropaolo, was also brought to a halt pending the outcome of the bankruptcy case.

Pietropaolo's estate has filed in a claim in Rockingham County and other courts seeking the money.

Regulators called the bankruptcy claim into question after examining bank records and calling upon McMenimen and his father, Frederick McMenimen Jr. to testify in separate proceedings, according to court documents.

Regulators also cited McMenimen's failure to disclose his membership in a limited liability corporation that bought a Georgetown, Mass., bar called Coach's Rock Pond Pub.

McMenimen's father, Frederick Jr., told regulators he bought the establishment late last year, but could not recall the purchase price or who he bought it from, court papers say.

A year before filing for Chapter 7, McMenimen deposited approximately $402,555 in a bank account that he once used for one of his businesses.

He also had control over another bank account under his father's name, which had $266,867 in deposits, the complaint says.

jkimble@newstote.com


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