Four cops, two realtors and a locksmith: What it took to get Trump's Fed pick Stephen Moore to pay his ex-wife back alimony and child support
- Stephen Moore, President Donald Trump's pick for the Federal Reserve board, ended up giving his ex-wife tens of thousands in delinquent divorce, alimony and child support payments only after his Virginia home was visited by four police officers, two realtors and a locksmith as part of a court order to sell the residence.
- A court document says Moore became "argumentative" and "denied that we were in his house" when a member of the group telephoned him to say they were there and leaving a new key after "the locksmith picked the lock" and let them inside.
- Trump plans to also nominate former Republican presidential contender and ex-Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain to the Fed board.
Stephen Moore, President Donald Trump's pick for the Federal Reserve Board, finally ended up giving his ex-wife tens of thousands in delinquent divorce, alimony and child support payments only after his Virginia home was visited by four police officers, two realtors and a locksmith as part of a court order to sell the residence, a document from his divorce case revealed.
The same document suggests that before that group visited the residence, Moore, a conservative economist, was dismissive of the court's plan to sell his house in the event he did not satisfy a contempt ruling for failing to pay Allison Moore money that he had agreed to fork over to her.
And it says Moore, 59, became "argumentative" and "denied that we were in his house" when a member of the group telephoned him to say they were there and leaving a new key after "the locksmith picked the lock" and let them inside.
It also says that Moore claimed to a court-appointed agent that he had "paid off his wife." But in fact, the agent said in the filing, she later learned from Allison Moore's lawyer that just a fraction of what Stephen Moore owed was paid several days after the visit by the locksmith and the others.
The document was released Monday on the heels of a judge's decision to unseal the Moores' divorce case file following a request by a group of media organizations.
The same judge early last week had sealed the file at Allison Moore's request after The Guardian newspaper had published some details from the case.
Trump's planned nomination of Moore, a Heritage Foundation visiting fellow, has drawn fire from both conservative and liberal economists who consider him a bad choice for the job.
The disclosure of the details in his divorce case, as well as the news that he has a $75,000 tax lien on him imposed by the IRS, have added to the controversy over Trump's effort to put Moore on the board of the Fed.
But Trump's national economic director, Larry Kudlow, has said that the president still supports Moore, who has, like Trump, been a critic of the central bank's increase in interest rates last year.
Last week, Trump said he also planned to nominate former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain to the Fed. Cain suspended his bid to become the 2012 Republican presidential nominee after several women claimed that he sexually harassed them. Cain has denied sexually harassing anyone.
A spokeswoman for Stephen Moore declined to comment to CNBC on Monday. She referred to a statement Stephen Moore released last week in which he said his divorce from Allison "was settled amicably many years ago and we remain on friendly terms to this day."
"She is a terrific mother and I hold her in the highest regard. Allison, our kids and my current wife would hope that the media would please respect our privacy. I am happy to speak to the media on any matters related to the economy or my views on the Fed," Moore had said.
Allison Moore sued Stephen Moore for divorce in 2010, claiming he cheated on her, and subjected her to "emotional and psychological abuse."
Contempt of court
In 2012, Moore was found in contempt of court for failing to pay Allison a monetary settlement under their divorce, for alimony and child support, as agreed upon. Months later, a judge issued another order mandating that he make the past-due payments, which by that point amounted to more than $333,300.
In March 2013, the judge appointed a lawyer named Kyle Skopic to handle the sale of Stephen Moore's northern Virginia home if he did not pay Allison what he owed.
In a court filing, Skopic told the judge that she had written Moore to talk about the sale in early May "but received no response."
She then called Moore, but he "curtly advised that the house was not for sale and hung up," the filing said.
Then, on May 17, 2013, Skopic went to the house "with four police officers, two realtors and a locksmith," according to her filing.
"The locksmith picked the lock, the police cleared the property to make certain there were no dangers," Skopic wrote. "The realtors toured the property and measured the rooms to create a floor plan."
Skopic wrote that she called "Moore to ask him where he wanted the new key to the front door left."
"He was very argumentative, denied that we were in his house, and again advised that the house was not for sale," Skopic wrote. "Further, he stated that he had taken out a 'second mortgage' and had paid off his wife.' "
The next day, Skopic had a for-sale sign put up on the property.
On May 23, 2013, Allison Moore's lawyer told Skopic that Stephen Moore had paid Allison $150,000 on May 22 — five days after Stephen Moore had claimed to Skopic that he had already paid Allison, according to Skopic's filing.
"Allegedly, Mr. Moore told his wife that he was getting a home equity [loan] to cover the balance due," Skopic wrote.
Skopic asked the judge how to proceed, given the fact that it would be "unfair to have a realtor spend time and money getting the property on the market if Mr. Moore then simply pays his debt and there remains no need to sell his house."
Skopic added that she believed Moore had made additional payments to Allison, and "she no longer desires for the house to be sold."
The court-ordered sale of the house was called off once Moore paid Allison about two-thirds of what he owed her.