Multiple media outlets are reporting that Walter Diggles, the former executive director of the Deep East Texas Council of Governments, and his wife Rosie Diggles, have filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection in federal court following their convictions for fraud and theft after funds designated for hurricane recovery were diverted into personal accounts, according to the Beaumont Enterprise in a story published Jan. 12.
Prosecutors say Diggles over-billed the federal government between 2007 and 2012 for workers' wages, transportation and recreation services.
The Diggles and their daughter Anita Diggles face up to 30 years in prison but have not yet been sentenced.
In their petition, Walter and Rosie Diggles estimate their liabilities at between $500,000 and $1 million, with roughly equivalent assets.
The couple plans to pay off debts in installments, but are attempting to protect their home from foreclosure.
The conviction on federal charges came after Diggles funneled federal money into a non-profit he ran, Deep East Texas Foundation, and then into accounts owned by Lighthouse Church in Jasper, where Diggles was pastor.
The three defendants have obtained extensions to file objections to a motion asking the court to order Diggles to forfeit $521,059.81 and his wife and daughter to give up $225,041.88 each.
In November, the defendants' requests for acquittal and a new trial were denied.
Judge Ron Clark said there was substantial evidence to support the convictions.
Rosie Diggles has until Jan. 22 to file her objections.
The judge granted an extension for Walter and Anita Diggles to file objections because their attorneys are representing a capital murder suspect in Hardin County.