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Slave Museum has until end of February

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Federal Judge Douglas O. Tice is giving the proposed National Slavery Museum until the end of February to file a bankruptcy reorganization plan.Former Governor Douglas Wilder did not appear in court for Wednesday’s hearing.

Museum attorney Sandra Robinson asked Tice for an extension to allow the museum’s new accountant more time to file four tax returns between 2008 through 2011, that the museum’s former CPA never filed.

Robinson also asked a judge to delay appointing an examiner to review the museum’s funds until the tax returns could be filed.

Last month, attorney Jeffrey Scharf filed a motion on behalf of the city of Fredericksburg, asking the court to appoint an examiner to investigate 1.6 million dollars in funds considered missing, based on the museum’s 2005 tax returns.

Robinson has since disputed the discrepancy in funds, calling the city’s claim of accounting irregularities “careless.”

The city of Fredericksburg also seeks to collect more than $215,000 dollars in delinquent real estate taxes owed on the museum’s 38-acre site.

Scharf said he’s willing to give the museum’s new pro -bono accountant, William Allan Jones, the necessary time to file the tax returns.  However, Scharf told the judge he was reluctant to believe the museum could come up with the funds to reorganize and pay off its debt.

The museum has been unable to legally raise funds since 2007 because of its failure to file tax returns.

Judge Tice set another hearing for February 29th at 2pm.

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