Barth buys house, makes WHAS Crusade wait for stolen cash


by Adam Walser

Posted on November 21, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 21 at 8:21 PM

(WHAS11) -- When former McMahon Fire Chief Paul Barth showed up for sentencing this week, he came without the $200,000 in restitution that he owes the WHAS Crusade for Children,  but we've learned Barth just bought himself a new home with $266,500 in cash.

Barth officially signed a required mortgage Wednesday afternoon, which met the terms of his plea agreement. But we discovered that he could have paid his restitution in full, had he used proceeds from a recent real estate sale.

When Barth showed up for sentencing Monday without the money he owed the Crusade, he was given an ultimatum:  to bring money or a signed mortgage by Wednesday, or risk more time in prison.

Barth met the deadline for signing a mortgage on his $570,000 house, which is still for sale, but we've learned he could have easily paid his restitution in cash.

Real estate records we obtained show that a Florida condo owned by Barth, his wife and his mother sold in September for $472,500.

A month later, Barth forked over $266,500 cash for a house in an upscale east Louisville neighborhood.

“Mr. Barth does have a family to take care of,and I'm sure his first concern at that point where a real estate transaction was going on was to take care of his family. The restitution is gonna get paid,” said Barth’s attorney Thomas Clay.

But only after a $570,000 house, which has already been on the market for more than 18 months and is under a foreclosure lawsuit, sells.

“The United States made this an alternative to his paying the restitution prior to final sentencing. He complied with that condition, so that's it,” said Clay.

But the U.S. Attorney’s office doesn’t see it that way. They filed a motion late Wednesday afternoon asking for an expedited hearing to review the conditions of Barth’s bond.

The U.S. Attorney is asking for additional restrictions to be placed on Barth’s bond, due to his lack of candor in regards to the recent real estate transactions.

They also want to fully review his previous and planned financial transactions in order to protect the interests of the victims in the case.

“It is deplorable that after admitting guilt and even asking the public for forgiveness, Mr. Barth still put his personal interests ahead of his victims,” stated United States Attorney, David J. Hale.  “In our view, he should have paid restitution during the brief period when he had liquid funds instead of buying another house. Ultimately, my Office will force payment by pursuing his substantial assets with every judgment collection and enforcement tool available to us.  We will enforce the Court’s judgment.  We will collect the full amount of restitution, we will make the victims whole again, and Mr. Barth will go to prison.” 

We've discovered Barth has likely come into other money in recent months.

 In 2011, he transferred ownership of six Corvettes to out of state parties and still owns two, highly collectable 1978 and 1995 Indy pace cars.

After Barth resigned as chief of McMahon Fire Department, he bought Frolio's Pizza Parlor on Poplar Level Road, but documents show the business was recently transferred back to its original owner.

We also discovered that Barth's mother Betty, who was co-owner of the Florida condo, hasn't fared well financially in recent years.

After her son Paul took over her financial affairs through a power of attorney in 2010, Betty's longtime home fell into foreclosure and was sold at auction in August. His mother now lives in public housing.