Did James Bond File Bankruptcy in Texas?

25 Mar Did James Bond File Bankruptcy in Texas?

Bankruptcy is not a good place to hide out if you are a super-spy. Your (financial) life is an open book and your (expensive) toys end up on the auction block.

So did James Bond try to evade his enemies by filing bankruptcy in Dallas back in June, 2012? The clues are tantalizing in a Dallas Chapter 7 case.

There’s a lot of debt listed. Over $500,000 of unsecured claims. Given the weak British economy of the last few years, Agent 007 may have had to resort to using credit cards and borrowed money to finance his jet-setting lifestyle. Is the next phrase after “Shaken, not stirred” then “can I run a tab?”

There are numerous obscure and mysterious businesses. Spy organizations often have “front” companies that their agents nominally work for in order to provide cover for them while they go about the job of collecting intelligence, saving the world, and looking cool. In this case there were at least four companies apparently owned by the mysterious debtor, three of which were never disclosed in the paperwork. At least one of the companies was a nonprofit given grant money by a British bank to provide community development and education. “Education” would be a great cover for collecting information too.

Although in the movies James Bond tends to end up in the limelight a lot, a good spy tries to stay in the shadows. In this case, the mystery man stopped going to his court hearings and returning his lawyer’s calls three months after the case started. Since there are recording devices and uniformed security all over federal courts, it makes sense for an undercover spy to avoid the place like the plague. Of course the real 007 could slip in and out without being seen, so perhaps he was actually there all along.

But the real proof that James Bond was in Texas bankruptcy is the car. Everyone knows at least one guy who can’t drive an unassuming sedan, even if his life depended upon it. They have to drive a flashy sports car. It’s genetic. That is quintessentially Bond…James Bond.

And there’s it is, a 2007 Aston Martin, owned by either the debtor or one of his companies. Granted, it wasn’t listed in the official paperwork for the case and had to be ferreted out by the trustee. And no one knows where the car is. But if you’re an undercover spy and you must have a $200,000 car to get around suburban Dallas, you certainly wouldn’t talk about it. Nor would you turn it over to a bankruptcy trustee.

Especially if it was one of those special Aston Martins, modified by “Q Branch” with missile launchers and ejection seats. Or that cool oil slick sprayer. (And of course machine guns hidden behind the headlights are mandatory but those may be standard equipment on Aston Martins for all I know.)

So is the car at issue down in Texas really a highly-modified spy transportation system? Are the mysterious companies really fronts for MI6? And why would James Bond need to file bankruptcy? Fear of debt collectors? With rocket-launching roadsters? Don’t be silly.

Clearly there is more to this mystery and Texas bankruptcy judge Stacey Jernigan knows it. That’s why she referred the matter to law enforcement. It’s not because the companies or car were not listed or that the debtor isn’t cooperating with his bankruptcy case. Not really. Nope, there’s a rogue fictional British spy on the run in Dallas.

I’d check out the martini bars first.

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I have been a bankruptcy attorney since 1989. Our firm represents consumers filing bankruptcy almost exclusively, although I have represented bankruptcy trustees as well as creditors. For 2017-2019 I served on the American Bankruptcy Institute's Commission on Consumer Bankruptcy. Our Report recommended numerous changes to improve bankruptcy law to make it serve everyone in the process more effectively. If you live in Eastern Missouri, visit our website, send an e-mail or give us a call (314) 781-3400. Our website: STLBankruptcy.com
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