Millionaire stays jailed on contempt after 11 years

Maryclaire Dale Associated Press Mar. 22, 2006 07:55 AM

PHILADELPHIA - A millionaire jailed for more than a decade for contempt in his divorce case continues to block efforts to trace his missing assets and should remain jailed, a three-judge panel ruled.

H. Beatty Chadwick, 68, is believed to hold the record for time served in a U.S. civil contempt case.

He was jailed in 1995 for allegedly hiding $2.5 million in overseas banks during a bitter divorce. Since then, a series of judges have told him he could go free once he tells the court what happened to the money, but Chadwick hasn't budged, the judges said.

Chadwick, a former corporate lawyer, maintains he lost the money in an overseas investment. Experts say it would now be worth more than $8 million.

In the latest ruling in the meandering case, a three-judge Delaware County panel concluded that the most recent court-ordered financial probe did little to resolve questions about the money. Chadwick, while claiming cooperation, did not give investigators full power to follow the money trail overseas, the judges said.

"Defendant Chadwick's lack of cooperation undermined the entire investigation, invalidating any conclusions or recommendations," the judges wrote in their ruling last month.

The ruling kicked aside the recommendation of a retired judge who believed Chadwick was being cooperative and should be released.

In contrast, the presiding judges found little change in Chadwick's stance.

Chadwick's lawyer, Michael Malloy, said Tuesday he will appeal. He said that lawyers for Chadwick's ex-wife, painter Barbara Jean "Bobbie" Chadwick, did not rebut their expert testimony. She now lives in Maine under a different name.

AP-WS-03-22-06 0854EST

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