A bankruptcy filing that could spell the end of the Boy Scouts of America is “imminent,” sources told The Post.
Crippled by thousands of child sex-abuse claims in multiple states — and with more victims coming forward every day — the bankruptcy case could reach into the “billions,” said one lawyer who represents 1,800 men who allege they were molested as scouts.
The filing, expected in Delaware, could come any day or in the next couple of weeks, sources said.
“It’s going to be a mess. If it takes a long period of time, it’s an open question whether the Boy Scouts will have any resources to keep operating while the bankruptcy is pending,” said attorney Tim Kosnoff.
Any bankruptcy by the Boy Scouts would be “historic” given the breadth of the organization. It is active in every state and territory, and has seen millions of boys move through its ranks since its inception more than a century ago. The group kept files on thousands of abuse allegations made against leaders since 1944.
“It would really be a day of reckoning for the Boy Scouts, in terms of the decisions they have to make,” said attorney Michael Pfau, who reps 300 alleged Boy Scout sex abuse victims. “Anyone still alive may be a potential victim.”
Kosnoff’s oldest client is a 93-year-old man, and a couple dozen others are over 80, he said.
“It’s kind of jaw-dropping when you realize this person has lived with this for so long,” Kosnoff said.
The group is “exploring all options available” to pay victims and continue their work, the statement added.“No decisions have been made and we continue to fully meet our financial obligations to our vendors, creditors and other stakeholders,” the Boy Scouts said in a statement.
The Boy Scouts have struggled with declining membership and rising costs. The group has $1.4 billion in assets according to its 2018 tax filing, and would also have to publicize the bankruptcy to reach as many victims as possible, the lawyers said.
The case will pull back the curtain on the nonprofit’s financial health, forcing it to reveal how many assets it has, and how those assets are leveraged, said Indiana University Professor Pamela Foohey, who studies nonprofit bankruptcies.
The national Boy Scouts organization is devising a bankruptcy survival strategy that would allow it to pay victims while shielding the hefty assets owned by hundreds of local councils — an estimated $3 billion worth, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.