Bankruptcy Case Reopened

Thursday, February 8th 2007, 12:20 pm
By: News On 6

OKMULGEE, Okla. (AP) -- A federal judge is reopening the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case of a former state lawmaker who's part of an FBI investigation into a Pittsburg County businessman.

The decision comes after the FBI said former Representative Mike Mass was a partner in a gambling machine company owned by businessman Steve Phipps. The FBI says Mass and two other former lawmakers got nearly $3 million in state money for various companies owned by Phipps.

Mass was chairman of the powerful House Appropriations and Budget Committee. He left office after the November elections because of term limits.

His bankruptcy case was closed as a "no asset" case last year meaning creditors had no way to collect debts owed by Mass and his wife, Suzanne. Trustee Gerald Miller now says there is "a reasonable likelihood" Mass has assets that can be distributed to his creditors.

Those creditors have until May 10 to file proof of a claim.