Main Line attorney reaches prison record

He's never been charged with a crime!
July 7, 2009 4:53:11 PM PDT
74-year-old Beatty Chadwick says he doesn't know what happened to a large amount of his money and he steadfastly refused a look into his private records. The cancer patient has spent 14 years behind bars for civil contempt, a U.S. record. He has never been charged with a crime.

There's been no decision yet by a Delaware County judge as to whether the Main Line attorney should be freed. This is all about the claim by his former wife that he's been hiding money and a lot of it.

The trouble started with his 1994 divorce from his wife Barbara. A judge here ordered Chadwick to put 2 and ½ million dollars in an escrow account. It never arrived.

Chadwick claimed he lost his fortune in a bad business deal. His wife's attorney says it was just hidden overseas. Chadwick was ordered to prison for contempt. On Tuesday Chadwick's attorney argued enough is enough, the incarceration is no longer coercive but punitive and illegal.

As for those who argue if Chadwick gets out he beat the system.

"He hasn't beat the system he's spent 14 years in jail if he had stolen the money, under the guidelines, he would have been 9 months so I don't know if he beat the system I think at the end of the day, again whatever position you take, I think he lost," said Michael Malloy, Chadwick's attorney.

His ex-wife's attorney remains convinced Chadwick is unrepentant and still controls big money, citing two episodes in jail.

"He was found at one time to work in the library calling up a stock broker," said Albert Momjian, the attorney for Chadwick's ex-wife. "He's trying to open up a numbered account in the Grand Cayman Islands in 2005 and why because he wants to put his social security check there for when he gets out of jail."

Momjian believes Chadwick has and continues to play the system and is where he should be in prison.

The judge is expected to rule on Chadwick's request for freedom sometime later.

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