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State Department Employee to Face Charges Over Unreported Gifts From China (Original Post) jberryhill Mar 2017 OP
Wish it was a cryptic breaking story... LeftInTX Mar 2017 #1
What is up with the legal system? TexasTowelie Mar 2017 #2
If I recall correctly, (it's been a long time) and the law hasn't changed, wage claims are rzemanfl Mar 2017 #3
Thanks for the clarifying information. TexasTowelie Mar 2017 #5
Mechandise delivered but unpaid for is my guess. n/t rzemanfl Mar 2017 #6
The pecking order, from bottom up, in bankruptcy is: jberryhill Mar 2017 #8
Yes, TexasTowelie Mar 2017 #9
sorry, I got the pic from twitter jberryhill Mar 2017 #7
This format below is more readable. herding cats Mar 2017 #4


(113,841 posts)
2. What is up with the legal system?
Wed Mar 29, 2017, 04:22 PM
Mar 2017

My brother filed an unpaid wage claim against a hospital that went into bankruptcy. Every so often we receive something from the court where they shrink the document down to 25% so they can put eight pages on the front and back of each page. Since my brother has absolutely no sense regarding legal documents he often will ask me to read the documents and these 51-year-old eyes can't do it even with a magnifying glass.

What I have been able to learn is that the bankruptcy is granting payment to other creditors without regards to the unpaid wage claims of the former employees. I thought that unpaid workers were considered to be secured creditors as opposed to the unsecured creditors that are getting paid.

However, it would be really nice if the bankruptcy court posted these orders online so that people can read the documents at a normal size so that laypeople with some common sense can read the documents without getting a headache. I curse the attorneys and the clerical staffs for being complicit in actions that are intended to hide relevant facts from people by using two-point type. There has to be a certain level of Dante's Circles of Hell for these people.


(29,915 posts)
3. If I recall correctly, (it's been a long time) and the law hasn't changed, wage claims are
Wed Mar 29, 2017, 04:31 PM
Mar 2017

priority unsecured claims.


(113,841 posts)
5. Thanks for the clarifying information.
Wed Mar 29, 2017, 04:41 PM
Mar 2017

I checked and they are priority unsecured claims. In the bankruptcy that I'm mentioning it appears that there are other unsecured creditors (drug suppliers and others) that are being given preference to the priority unsecured creditors. Maybe they hold some type of collateral that makes them a secured creditor, but it does seem unlikely.



(62,444 posts)
8. The pecking order, from bottom up, in bankruptcy is:
Wed Mar 29, 2017, 05:18 PM
Mar 2017

3. Unsecured Creditors

2. Secured Creditors



(113,841 posts)
9. Yes,
Wed Mar 29, 2017, 05:32 PM
Mar 2017

One of the documents that I received from the bankruptcy court indicated that the lawyers were paid.

I know that several of the employees that lost pay were $15,000-$20,000 in the red. I also saw that the maximum any of them will recover is $12,850.

Meanwhile, the CEO and owner of the hospital (who is also an attorney) was taking home over $600k per year, flying in private jets, and having a record of sending hospitals into bankruptcy (California, Chicago, Ohio, Washington D.C.). I've found stories of his "alleged" fraudulent activity and failure in his fiduciary duties on the Internet dating back to the 1990s.

herding cats

(19,583 posts)
4. This format below is more readable.
Wed Mar 29, 2017, 04:33 PM
Mar 2017
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
State Department Employee Arrested and Charged With Concealing Extensive Contacts With Foreign Agents

A federal complaint was unsealed today charging Candace Marie Claiborne, 60, of Washington, D.C., and an employee of the U.S. Department of State, with obstructing an official proceeding and making false statements to the FBI, both felony offenses, for allegedly concealing numerous contacts that she had over a period of years with foreign intelligence agents.

The charges were announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary B. McCord for National Security, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips of the District of Columbia and Assistant Director in Charge Andrew W. Vale of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

“Candace Marie Claiborne is a U.S. State Department employee who possesses a Top Secret security clearance and allegedly failed to report her contacts with Chinese foreign intelligence agents who provided her with thousands of dollars of gifts and benefits,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General McCord. “Claiborne used her position and her access to sensitive diplomatic data for personal profit. Pursuing those who imperil our national security for personal gain will remain a key priority of the National Security Division.”

“Candace Claiborne is charged with obstructing an official proceeding and making false statements in connection with her alleged concealment and failure to report her improper connections to foreign contacts along with the tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and benefits they provided,” said U.S. Attorney Phillips. “As a State Department employee with a Top Secret clearance, she received training and briefing about the need for caution and transparency. This case demonstrates that U.S. government employees will be held accountable for failing to honor the trust placed in them when they take on such sensitive assignments”

“Candace Claiborne is accused of violating her oath of office as a State Department employee, who was entrusted with Top Secret information when she purposefully mislead federal investigators about her significant and repeated interactions with foreign contacts," said Assistant Director in Charge Vale. "The FBI will continue to investigate individuals who, though required by law, fail to report foreign contacts, which is a key indicator of potential insider threats posed by those in positions of public trust.”

The FBI arrested Claiborne on March 28. She made her first appearance this afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

According to the affidavit in support of the complaint and arrest warrant, which was unsealed today, Claiborne began working as an Office Management Specialist for the Department of State in 1999. She has served overseas at a number of posts, including embassies and consulates in Baghdad, Iraq, Khartoum, Sudan, and Beijing and Shanghai, China. As a condition of her employment, Claiborne maintains a Top Secret security clearance. Claiborne also is required to report any contacts with persons suspected of affiliation with a foreign intelligence agency.

Despite such a requirement, the affidavit alleges, Claiborne failed to report repeated contacts with two intelligence agents of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), even though these agents provided tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and benefits to Claiborne and her family over five years. According to the affidavit, the gifts and benefits included cash wired to Claiborne’s USAA account, an Apple iPhone and laptop computer, Chinese New Year’s gifts, meals, international travel and vacations, tuition at a Chinese fashion school, a fully furnished apartment, and a monthly stipend. Some of these gifts and benefits were provided directly to Claiborne, the affidavit alleges, while others were provided through a co-conspirator.

According to the affidavit, Claiborne noted in her journal that she could “Generate 20k in 1 year” working with one of the PRC agents, who, shortly after wiring $2,480 to Claiborne, tasked her with providing internal U.S. Government analyses on a U.S.-Sino Strategic Economic Dialogue that had just concluded.

Claiborne, who allegedly confided to a co-conspirator that the PRC agents were “spies,” willfully misled State Department background investigators and FBI investigators about her contacts with those agents, the affidavit states. After the State Department and FBI investigators contacted her, Claiborne also instructed her co-conspirators to delete evidence connecting her to the PRC agents, the affidavit alleges.

Charges contained in a criminal complaint are merely allegations, and every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The maximum penalty for a person convicted of obstructing an official proceeding is 20 years in prison. The maximum penalty for making false statements to the FBI is five years in prison. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

At her court appearance today, Claiborne pleaded not guilty before the Honorable Magistrate Judge Robin M. Meriweather. A preliminary hearing was set for April 18.

The FBI’s Washington Field Office is leading the investigation into this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John L. Hill and Thomas A. Gillice for the District of Columbia and Trial Attorney Julie Edelstein of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.
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