GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A former Major League Baseball player who was convicted of sexually assaulting four high school athletes could be in more trouble.
A lawsuit filed this week in federal court claims Chad Curtis transferred nearly all his money and assets to his now-ex-wife Candace so he could avoid payouts to the victims in civil lawsuits.
On Thursday, Monica Beck, the attorney for one teen girl who Curtis molested, told 24 Hour News 8 that there are more than 4,000 recorded phone conversations between Curtis and his ex-wife that reveal they tried to deceive the victims and state of Michigan.
“We have records showing that Chad and Candace transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars into accounts that we haven’t been able to access yet,” Beck said.
“They transferred lots of money, vehicles, houses, and disposed and liquidated a lot of their assets, which they then tried to hide from the state of Michigan and then tried to hide from our client,” she continued.
Curtis’ recorded phone calls from prison include a lot of discussion about money and assets.
“I’m basically asking for you to give me everything and then trust me that I will help,” Candace Curtis said in one call. “And we’re on the phone, so obviously I’m being cautious of what I’m saying. Trust me that I will help when you get out.”
Chad Curtis was convicted of sexually assaulting four girls at Lakewood High School between the summer of 2011 and fall of 2012. Beck said that Curtis repeated in court that he did not have much money, but Beck estimates that the former athlete made some $14 million.
A judge decided last October that Curtis would pay Beck’s client $1.8 million in damages.
“Our ultimate goal is to collect and we will collect against whatever’s there,” Beck said.
Beck and her team want assets that Curtis enjoyed, but may be in his ex-wife’s name, to be considered. That includes a 20-acre horse farm in Ada.
The lawsuit mentions that in the early 2000s, the couple set up separate trust funds. It adds that in one of the phone conversations, Curtis can be heard saying he did that to make it more difficult for creditors to collect from him if someone sued him.
Beck explained that their motion aims to add Candace Curtis as a defendant.
“Candace wanted Chad to give her everything they had, all of their assets, even though she acknowledged that she wasn’t entitled to all of those assets. She was only entitled to half,” Beck said.
She pointed to this recorded conversation as evidence:
Candace Curtis: “If the judge gives you half of everything, (victim) is taking it.”
Chad Curtis: (inaudible)
Candace Curtis: “It won’t even barely hit your account.”
Chad Curtis: “Do you feel like you’re being selfish?”
Candace Curtis: “I’m trying to keep things out of (victim’s) hands.”
The lawsuit also requests the court make the two submit more information about their assets and funds.