CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A federal jury in Charlotte has returned a verdict against Malcom Bynum, for fraudulently transferring a piece of property to a relative in violation of the Federal Debt Collection Procedures Act (FDCPA), to avoid paying restitution owed to victims of his criminal conduct, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney presided over the two-day civil trial.
The FDCPA prevents individuals who owe debts to the United States from improperly transferring properties and other assets in order to avoid paying their debt obligations, including court-ordered criminal restitution to victims.
On January 22, 2021, the United States filed a federal civil lawsuit against Tico Bynum, Malcolm Bynum, and Donald Bynum for violating the FDCPA. According to the civil complaint, Tico Bynum fraudulently transferred the property located at 1344 Downs Avenue to his son, Malcolm Bynum, to avoid his debt obligations, specifically, $221,818.98 in restitution payments owed to victims of his crimes. On February 22, 2022, Judge Whitney ruled that Tico Bynum’s transfer of the property to his son was indeed fraudulent.
According to information contained in the civil suit and evidence presented at Malcolm Bynum’s civil trial, Malcolm Bynum also transferred the same property to his grandfather, Donald Bynum, to avoid his own debt of $169,923.24, which included both restitution to victims of his crimes, and special assessments. Trial evidence established that Malcolm Bynum signed a quitclaim deed transferring 1344 Downs Avenue to his grandfather, shortly before Malcom Bynum was indicted for multiple violations of federal criminal statutes, including conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, financial institution fraud, and aggravated identity theft. The evidence at trial further demonstrated that, as part of his plea agreement with the government, Malcolm Bynum agreed to make full restitution and pay back his victims for certain losses incurred as a result of his crimes. According to trial evidence, the day before Malcolm Bynum signed the plea agreement, the quitclaim deed was recorded with the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds, effecting the transfer of the 1344 Downs Avenue to his grandfather. The deed reflected that Donald Bynum did not pay any consideration to Malcolm Bynum in exchange for the property, which, at the time of transfer, had a tax value of $207,900. As part of his sentence for the criminal case, Malcolm Bynum was ordered to pay restitution and penalties totaling $169,923.24 to his victims. On Tuesday, March 22, 2022, a federal jury found that the property transfer was a violation of the FDCPA.
Next, the Court will determine the appropriate statutory relief, which may include the avoidance or voiding of the property transfers and the issuance of a writ of execution on the property, to satisfy the restitution judgments stemming from the criminal convictions.
“Time and again, the Bynums have tried to dodge their financial obligations to crime victims and thwart the United States’ efforts to enforce court-ordered judgments. But the proverbial buck stops here,” said U.S. Attorney King. “Collection on federal debts – and particularly restitution judgments entered for the benefit of crime victims – remains a priority for my Office.”
In making toay’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King commended the Office’s Financial Litigation Unit for their investigation of the case.
The Financial Litigation Unit enforces collection of criminal restitution, fines, and other monetary penalties ordered as the result of criminal convictions, as well as civil debts owed to the United States. Funds collected for restitution are disbursed directly to the victims of the crime identified in the criminal judgment. Criminal fines go to the National Crime Victims Fund, which disburses grants to various victims’ groups across the country.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Julia Wood and Katherine Armstrong of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte handled the civil action.