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Bankruptcy Would Get Boy Scouts Ahead of Potential Onslaught of Sex-Abuse Claims

The Boy Scouts of America is considering filing for bankruptcy in an effort to get a handle on what could be an onslaught of claims over allegations of sexual abuse, WSJ Pro Bankruptcy reported. Despite declining enrollment and legal threats, the national organization lists assets of more than $1.5 billion in its most recent yearly financial report. And that doesn’t even include any assets held by the organization’s more than 250 regional councils. Plaintiffs’ lawyers suing the Boy Scouts questioned whether the organization’s motivation in exploring bankruptcy is financial preservation, given its wealth. Over the past 12 years, Oregon lawyer Peter Janci has sued the Boy Scouts on behalf of about 100 people.

Sears Racked Up Nearly $1.9 Billion in Losses Amid Bankruptcy

Despite closing dozens of stores and laying off 200 corporate employees as it tried to stave off a bankruptcy filing, Sears racked up nearly $1.9 billion in losses in the nine months ending Nov. 3, the Chicago Tribune reported. That’s more than triple the sum the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based department store chain reported in the same nine-month period in 2017, according to a quarterly financial report filed yesterday. More than half those losses came during the three months leading up to Nov. 3, during which Sears filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Sears slashed costs by about 25 percent during the first nine months of this fiscal year compared with the same period in 2017, according to the filing. But sales of merchandise and services dropped faster over the same nine-month period.

Mike Isabella’s Restaurant Empire Is Headed for Liquidation

When Mike Isabella filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in September, the former “Top Chef” star had hoped the company reorganization would stop the financial bleeding and “get me back to where I was” six months earlier, before a former manager accused him and his partners of sexual harassment, the Washington Post reported. He was, in short, fighting for a second chance to win over Washington diners who had helped his restaurant group grow into one of the largest in town. But in a chapter 7 filing on Tuesday, which seeks to operate six restaurants through Dec. 27 before closing them permanently, Isabella argues that the local and national media relentlessly threw shade on his business operations even after he agreed to a confidential settlement in May with former Isabella Eatery manager, Chloe Caras, who sued for “extraordinary sexual harassment.”

Cincinnati Restaurant Chain Declares Bankruptcy

A Cincinnati-based restaurant chain with four Tri-State locations that's known for its burgers and craft beer has filed for bankruptcy protection in hopes of remaining open while it pays back creditors, the Cincinnati Business Courier reported. Flipdaddy's Brilliant Burgers & Craft Beer Bar, with locations in Newport, Mariemont, Symmes Township and Union, Ky., filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on Dec. 6. According to its filing, the company owes more than $2.3 million to 19 creditors. Flipdaddy's was founded in Mariemont by Bob Dames in 2010 and opened a restaurant a year in each of the next three years. It opened a fifth location in Orange Beach, Ala., in 2017, which has since closed. Dames has since left the restaurant, opening Alto Pizza Kitchen in Covington in July. Tom Sacco took over as CEO of Flipdaddy's in March.

Commentary: Can Cryptocurrencies Survive the Start of Government Regulation?

As the government has finally begun a crackdown on the market for cryptocurrencies and digital tokens, a commentary in the New York Times wonders if this spells the demise of digital currencies and the end of initial coin offerings. In recent weeks, the Justice Department joined a Commodity Futures Trading Commission probe into manipulation of the Bitcoin market. The Securities and Exchange Commission issued a statement on Nov. 16 to explain that its enforcement efforts were focused on initial coin offerings, which it considers to be securities that require registration and compliance with a host of disclosure rules. The Justice Department and the CFTC’s investigation is focused on whether Tether, a cryptocurrency issued by a Hong Kong-based company, may have been used to drive up Bitcoin’s value through well-timed trades. Bitcoin surged 2,000 percent in 2017 to a peak of nearly $20,000, only to tumble more than 80 percent this year. Federal prosecutors have one advantage in the investigation of Bitcoin manipulation, according to the commentary: They can use the wire fraud statute to prosecute any scheme involving property, including intangible property like a cryptocurrency.

Foreign Toys ‘R’ Us Businesses Win Approval of Chapter 11 Plan

Toys “R” Us Inc. and some foreign subsidiaries got approval Thursday for their joint chapter 11 bankruptcy plan, which includes the $760 million sale of the Asian business, WSJ Pro Bankruptcy reported. The Asian business of Toys “R” Us has been considered healthy, and a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, Va., yesterday approved the sale of that operation to a new ownership group that includes existing bondholders that have said that they plan to operate the business. Of that $760 million offer, about half is a credit bid, meaning that the lenders will trade their debt for ownership of the business.
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